Safety Alert – Using your Mobile Phone to Call for Help

You may find yourself in a remote location and needing to summon help. It is useful to know how to do this using your mobile phone.


If you need help from the Emergency Services (Police, Fire, Ambulance, Coastguard, Mountain Rescue, etc.) then use a mobile phone and dial 112. 112 has some very special features, dialling it will:-

  • Access every available network, you are not limited to your network provider
  • Take precedence over all other calls
  • Work even if the phone has no credit
  • Over-ride any security settings on the phone
  • In more modern phones, may work even if there is no SIM card in the phone

112 works throughout the European Union and in many other countries.

If you cannot get through using voice then send a text. Text messages use a different bandwidth to voice messages. Texts are sent in small packets of data and will work even if the signal is weak and intermittent. You will need to register with 112 first but this is easy.

To register simply text the word register to 112. You will be sent a text message, simply read it and reply with the word yes .

When you call or text please include the following information:-

  • Your name
  • Your location
  • The nature of the distress
  • The type of assistance that you need
  • The number of people who need help and
  • Any other relevant information

Watch the video at This has more advice on the use of 112.

You may never need to call for help but you may, and it is important to know how.

Stephen Worley
Honorary Rowing Safety Advisor