Saved by the Phone?

Cell Phones Saving Lives

When it comes to cell phones and “saving lives” most people scoff. Cell phones cause a number of accidents on the highways and roads each year. Distracted drivers will hit other drivers, sit through red light/green light rotations, run stop signs, and just generally drive hazardously. In fact according to the National Safety Council, cell phones cause around 1.6 million crashes a year. Around 390,000 injuries occur from these accidents involving cell phones. And to make the matters worse, about 1 in every 4-car crash within the United States is due to texting and driving. Given those statistics, you wouldn’t expect to see the above headline; at least not literally.

While a lot of people refer to their phones as lifesavers, it’s generally not the literal case. Most people are referring to how their phones got them through boring meetings/classes, allowed them to pull up files they needed but couldn’t access elsewhere, gave them access to emergency information, etc. In other words, a cell phone isn’t likely to physically save your life. However for an Australian man, his cell phone actually did save his life… Quite literally. He would have been dead without it.

So how did a mobile phone save someone’s life? Well read on!

Taking an arrow to the knee, or rather the face

Cell Phone save the human from arrow

Video game enthusiasts probably recognize the quote from Skyrim: “I took an arrow to the knee”, meaning that the man got down on one knee and proposed. However, you’re probably not familiar with the phrase “take an arrow to the face” and luckily for all of us, it’s not a common one.

The Telegraph was quick to report on the unusual story. According to headlines, a 43-year-old man was in rural South Wales when he “came under attack”. An arrow that was making its way to his face was actually stopped by his cell phone. As if that’s not odd enough in and of itself, the story gets stranger.

The local police issued a statement regarding the incident. In this statement, they said that the man was confronted outside of his home… By someone wielding a bow and arrow as they weapon of choice. While plenty of fictional characters like Katniss Everdeen and Lara Croft are skilled enough with a bow and arrow to carry them as their weapon of choice, it’s shocking to hear of someone doing it in real life. After all they’re extremely slow, bulky, and awkward to wield if you’re not a professional.

So how did the arrow make its way to his face and how was his cell phone in the right spot at the right time? Supposedly the victim lifted his phone to face level in order to either take pictures of what was happening or to record it to upload it to social media later. As he did so, an arrow that was aimed at the man’s face sailed the way. The cell phone caught the arrow and prevented it from hitting the man in the face. While normally the last thing you’d want to do is take your phone out and record such a dangerous situation, but in this case it was a lifesaving choice.

So while he was unable to record the strange events, it did save his life and we’re sure he prefers it that way.

After the incident, the attacker was taken into custody at the Nimbin Police Station. Since his arrest, he has been charged with the following: assault occasioning actual bodily harm and malicious damage, and armed with intent to commit an indictable offense. He did however post bail and is due to appear in court on April 15. And yes, the two men know each other.

What a way to welcome someone home

Cell phone welcome person

Imagine that you’ve had a long day and all you want to do is go home, kick your shoes off, and chill with some Netflix in the background. As you make your way up your drive, you see someone waiting for you outside of your home. Instead of a cold beer in their hand to greet you with, they have a loaded bow and arrow. Sound like something out of a movie? Well for the 43-year-old Nimbin resident, it was real life.

When the victim returned home on Wednesday, he saw a man waiting outside for him. The attacker was aiming a bow right at the man’s face with the arrow cocked and ready to go. Of course we all know how it plays out now, but the fact that the attacker was waiting with his bow and arrow ready to go speaks volumes of the feud that must have been going on between the two.

It’s unclear how long the attacker was waiting for the victim or what the grudge is over. What we do know is that the attacker had every intent of killing the other man based on how the arrow was aimed.

Okay, but why a bow and arrow?

bow and arrow cell phone

Australia has some notoriously strict gun laws. Because of this, guns aren’t easily accessible and it’s unusual to hear of someone attacking someone else with a gun. Thus, many criminals resort to other weapons or source their guns illegally. And even for those that are able to get their hands on guns illegally, it’s still unusual to hear of people shooting others. Typically they’ll opt for an axe, machete or knife of some sorts. For the 39-year-old man who was apparently harboring one hell of a grudge towards the victim, he opted for a bow and arrow set up.

Why he picked the bow and arrow is beyond us. As we mentioned earlier, they’re great weapons for hunting game, but not for attacking people you don’t like. They’re very slow; you can only fire one arrow at a time and the reload time is pretty slow too. Even if you’re skilled, it takes a few seconds to load another arrow, draw back the string, aim and release. The attacker had to have known that he was going to get only one shot off before the authorities were called or the victim escaped. Since it was aimed at the man’s face, we assume that he intended to kill him on the spot with the first shot.

The fact that the arrow was dead on for the man’s face speaks volumes of the man’s skill with the bow. We just wish he would have put those skills to use elsewhere instead of ending a grudge match.

So long story short, the strict gun laws prevented the man from taking a gun to the victim’s house and doing far more damage than the arrow caused. As to why he picked a bow instead of a knife is still up for debate. Perhaps he wanted to keep his distance from the victim? We don’t know the official reason but we imagine it’ll come up during the man’s trial.

Nimbin is also not a very safe place to be in Australia according to locals. It has an extremely poor reputation and many people avoid it. It’s often coined as the weed capital of Australia or called “Naughty Nimbin”. So the fact that the attack occurred here is unsurprising.

Rip the phone

RIP the cell phone

Luckily for the man involved in this bizarre attack, he made it out largely unscathed. The arrow did pierce the phone but the device prevented it from going all the way through and into the man’s face. The force of the impact did launch the phone backwards into the man’s chin though. The injuries were incredibly minor (a small cut) and he didn’t require any medical treatment for them.

As for the phone? Well, obviously it didn’t survive the attack. You can YouTube videos of people shooting cell phones with arrows and the results aren’t pretty. You can also see the phone and arrow form the assault pictured above. The man is very lucky that the arrow didn’t go all the way through or puncture his face when the phone was thrown back due to the impact. It did knick his chin, but that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of damage that could have been done.

As to how the arrow was stopped we aren’t 100% sure. We don’t know if maybe the arrow wasn’t launched at full force or if it was the phone’s battery that slowed the arrow down, the glass, or something other aspect of the phone. You can also see in the image above that the arrow completely separated screen protector from the phone. It’s bubbled around the impact and the force of the hit actually dislodged it smoothly from the phone’s face. Whether or not this also contributed to the stopping force is unclear.

The force behind an arrow

Arrow force

For those of us who aren’t terribly familiar with bows, we’re left wondering a number of questions regarding the attack. How fast does an arrow travel? How far do you need to be or how close to get a “good” shot off? Well, there are apparently a lot of factors that go behind an arrow’s effectiveness. We’ll briefly review them.

For starters, the faster an arrow travels through the air, the flatter the trajectory and the wind resistance will all affect the arrow’s effectiveness so to speak. Wind can cause the arrows to curve or be significantly slowed down. And of course the faster they travel through the air the more damage they’ll inflict.

Recurve bows can launch arrows at a staggering 225 feet per second or 150 miles per hour. At this speed, they can certainly inflict death and substantial injuries. As for compound bounds, the speed is significantly higher. These arrows can travel around 300 feet per second or 200 miles an hour. Longbow arrows are much slower because the weight of the arrows is significantly higher.

It hasn’t been officially reported what kind of bow the attacker was using but we can assume that it was either a crossbow or a recurve, with the latter being the most likely.

The type of arrow also matters. Obviously the damage is going to be dependent upon the weight of the arrow, the tip, etc. The ones used in the attack aren’t really clear; they’re not the traditional tips that you see. (We’re referring to the silver triangular ones that have holes). These look more like practice arrows, but were sharp enough to knick the man’s chin and pierce a cell phone so we aren’t entirely sure. If you know what kind of arrows these were, please let us know in the comment section so we can update this article accordingly.

The lifesaving device was a…

cell phone was a lifesaving device

Now to answer the biggest question that’s been on all of our minds since the start of the article: what kind of phone was the man using?

Sorry Android users but you’ll want to avert your eyes here. The phone responsible for saving the man’s life was in fact an iPhone. We fully expect the memes to roll in steadily over the next few days.

While it could easily be argued that an Android could have also saved the man’s life or if it was the result of the arrow not being fired at full strength, we likely won’t know what saved the man’s life aside from a damned good cell phone.

What do you think?

Like always, we want your thoughts on this piece. However, we really want you to weigh in on what you think the grudge was over. Do you think the victim wasn’t mowing his lawn often enough and it made the attacker angry? Do you think maybe the victim stole the attacker’s woman? Or do you have a completely different theory? Either way, we’d love to hear it! We also want to know your opinions regarding the phone. Do you think it’s because “Apple’s built better” and that’s why his life was saved? Or do you think it’s something else that left the man largely unscathed? Leave your opinions in the comment section below, we’d love to hear them!

Vimal Lalani is senior correspondent for Ishli, Medical and Wellness unit, reporting breaking news and health consumer reporting on

Written by Vimal Lalani

Vimal Lalani is senior correspondent for Ishli, Medical and Wellness unit, reporting breaking news and health consumer reporting on


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