#1 A Kidnap Victim Was SavedThis is one of the 5 times Google Maps saved lives and Sander Cokelare is lucky that it did. Sander Cokelare was at work one day at SMET UK LTD. Out of the blue, a bitter ex-employee of the company named John Charles showed up at the office and kidnapped Sander. According to John, his boss owed him money so he wanted to use Sander’s credentials so that he could schedule a one-on-one meeting with his former boss. When John kidnapped Sander, he managed to hide his phone from him. He waited until John left the room and he used Google Maps to send his location to his boss. When his boss got the information, they went to the location and saved Sander. John was arrested for kidnapping immediately after.
When a man named Saroo was 5 years old, he accidentally got on board a runaway train in India. He was separated from his family and had no idea how to find his way home. For 23 years he searched for his family but because he was so young when he was separated from them, he couldn’t remember where his family lived and even their last name. The only thing that he did remember about his home was that his hometown was closed off by two bridges. He used Google Maps and Google Earth and he was able to find the town. Once there, it didn’t take long before he found his family. According to Saroo, Google Maps and Google Earth saved his life because he wasn’t really living while he was apart from his family.
#3 Saved From a Desert IslandThree men began having boat trouble and they managed to get to the shore of a deserted island. None of the men were survivalists and they had no experience in nature. After a day or so, the men decided to gather as many leaves and branches as they could so that they could spell out the word “Help”. It wasn’t long before the men and their cry for help was spotted on Google Earth. Not long after, a US Navy plane flew above the island and saw the men’s distress signal. It wasn’t long before the men were rescued and reunited with their friends and family members. Since their time on the island, the men say that they are giving up boating. Instead, they say that they have been binge watching episodes of Gilligan’s Island.
A man named David Lee Niles was leaving Jake’s Bar in Byron Township, Michigan on October 11, 2006. For years, his family searched for him in hopes that he was alive somewhere. At the time of his disappearance, he was 67 years old. Finally, in 2011, his family hesitantly lost hope and they published an obituary for him even though they prayed every day that he was alive. In November 2017, the car was found and David’s body was inside. It was found when someone spotted a vehicle submerged in a pond on Google Maps. When the uncovered the car, they found the skeletal remains of David inside. Google Maps may not have been able to save David’s life, however, it did save his family’s. Finally having answers to their questions about their loved one finally allowed them to move on. One of his family members stated that they just weren’t living not knowing where David really was.
#5 Missing Teen Walks Out of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
A 15 years old boy named Austin Bohanan from Blount County, Tennessee went hiking on an off-trail hike in the remote southwest corner of the area. He was alone and it didn’t take long before he lost his way. He realized quickly that he had no phone signal in the mountains so he turned his phone off. For 11 day, he tried to find his way home. The day after he left, his stepfather reported him missing. The Rangers didn’t want to send out too many searchers because too many people could destroy tracks left by Austin. On the 11th day, he realized that even though he didn’t have a phone signal, he could probably get a GPS signal. He turned his phone on and Google Maps led him out of a backcountry area known as Tabcat Creek. When he was found, he was taken to a nearby hospital in Maryville, Tennessee where he was treated for exhaustion and dehydration. He said that if it weren’t for his GPS signal and Google Maps that he would never have made it out of the woods alive.