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iPhone falls in river, returns 10 months later to reunite with owner

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If you lost your iPhone by accidentally dropping it in a river, you would 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 Gloucestershire’s Wye River. That might have been the end of the story there; Davies buys a new iPhone and the lost unit is forgotten.

But this isn’t your typical story, according to the BBC† Earlier this month, a gentleman named Miguel Pacheco went canoeing with his entire family and discovered Davies’ lost iPhone. Pacheco thought the phone was dead. As he told the BBC when he was interviewed, “I didn’t think it was right. It was full of water.” Most people would have simply given up trying to find the owner of the device, but Pacheco felt compelled to return the device because of the possibility that it contained sentimental items.
“I know if I lost my phone, I have a lot of pictures of my kids, I know I’d want it back,” he said. After drying the phone with an airliner and compressor, it was left in a closet to dry for the rest of the night. Amazingly, the iPhone turned on the next morning when he put it in 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 14, the day the device fell into the water. Hey, we haven’t even gotten around to revealing which iPhone model was lost in the river; it was an iPhone X.

After being shared more than 4,000 times on the local Facebook group Cinder Noticeboard, some friends of Owain Davies recognized him and his fiancée Fiona Gardner from the photo on the phone’s screensaver. Finally, there was a reunion between the phone and its owner.

Davies was impressed by Mr. Pacheco’s effort to return the phone to him and admitted that if the tables had turned, he probably wouldn’t have gone to so much trouble. “My natural reaction would be to take it to the nearest pub. It wouldn’t be to use my air compressor to dry it out and disassemble 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 got 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, due to a structural problem with the lake’s dam, it was completely drained, turning the lake into a treasure trove for those who wanted to get full of mud. One such person, Daniel Kalgren, took his metal detector to the reclaimed lake and found only one object buried under 6 inches of mud and clay: an iPhone 4 still in its OtterBox case.

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 rang and Kalgren was able to find Michael Guntrum’s name and phone number on the device. At the time, he said he would have the device repaired and give it to his mother who needed a smartphone.

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

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