iPhone drops in the river, comes back to reunite with owner 10 months later


If you’ve lost your iPhone by accidentally dropping it in a river, you’d probably think that the phone was gone forever and that you would never see it again. Cue the sad music. In August 2021, iPhone user Owain Davies dropped his handset while in a canoe in the Wye River in Gloucestershire. That might have been the end of the story right there; Davies buys a new iPhone and the lost unit is forgotten.

But this is not your typical story, according to the BBC. Earlier this month a gentleman by the name of Miguel Pacheco took his whole family canoeing and discovered Davies’ lost iPhone. Pacheco figured that the phone was dead. As he told the BBC when interviewed, “I didn’t think it was any good. It was full of water.” Most people would have simply given up on trying to find the owner of the device, but Pacheco felt compelled to return the handset because of the possibility that it contained sentimental things inside of it.
“I know if I lost my phone, I’ve got a lot of pictures of my children, I know I’d want that back, ” he said. After drying out the phone with an airline and compressor, the device was put in a cupboard for the rest of the night to dry out. Amazingly, the iPhone turned on the next morning when he plugged it into the charger.

An Apple iPhone X survives 10 months in a river

The screensaver showed a man wearing sunglasses and holding an ice cream cone. He was standing next to a woman, also wearing sunglasses. The photo was taken on August 14th, the day the device fell into the water. Hey, we never even got around to revealing yet which iPhone model was lost in the river; it was an iPhone X.

After being shared on the local Cinder Noticeboard Facebook group over 4,000 times, some friends of Owain Davies recognized him and his fiancée Fiona Gardner from the photo on the phone’s screensaver. A reunion between the phone and its owner finally took place.

Davies was impressed at the effort made by Mr. Pacheco to return the phone to him and admitted that had the roles been reversed, he probably wouldn’t have gone to such an effort. “My natural reaction would be to hand it into the nearest pub. It wouldn’t be to use my air compressor to dry it out and dismantle it,” he said.

Owain Davies also explained how his iPhone X ended up in the river in the first place. “I was in a two-man canoe and my partner probably shouldn’t have stood up, and needless to say we fell in. The phone was in my back pocket and as soon as it was in the water I realized the phone was gone.”

The build quality of the Apple iPhone is among the best in the industry

Well, a miracle was about to happen. First, because of a structural problem with the lake’s dam, it was drained completely which turned the lake into a treasure trove for those willing to get full of mud. One of those people, Daniel Kalgren, took his metal detector with him to the drained lake and found just one item buried under 6 inches of mud and clay: an iPhone 4 still in its OtterBox case.

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Kalgren explained what he did next. “I took the phone home, cleaned it, and put it in rice – just out of curiosity to see if it would still work.” Two days later, the phone turned on and Kalgren was able to find Michael Guntrum’s name and phone number listed in the device. At the time, he said that he would get the device fixed up and would give it to his mom who needed a smartphone.

There are other stories of iPhone units falling out of planes and still working. These are unusual examples, but it is hard to deny that the build quality of the Apple iPhone is among the best if not the best in the industry.



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