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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

iPhone Still Works Perfectly After Spending 33 Days on Bottom of the Ocean

A Minnesota man who lost his iPhone 14 while kayaking in Hawaii got the shock of his life when a complete stranger got in touch and told him that they had found his handheld and that it was working perfectly.

27-year-old Zach Siggelkow of St. Anthony Village, Minnesota, was on vacation at Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, with his mother and sister last December. On the last day, Siggelkow decided to go kayaking, despite his mother’s warning, and that’s when tragedy struck. He had taken his iPhone 14 out to film some Air Force planes flying over, when a big wave hit the side of the kayak, causing it to overturn. As he struggled to find his paddle and get back into the kayak, Zach realized he had lost both his smartphone and his sunglasses. At first, he was pretty bummed out about it, but then he realized there wasn’t much he could do about it, so he just moved on with his life. Until 33 days later, when he got an email from someone claiming to have found his iPhone on the bottom of the ocean…

Dr Karl Brookins, a retired fisheries scientist who likes going diving around Waikiki Beach, noticed something strange on the ocean floor and decided to investigate. It turned out to be a smartphone, and although he didn’t have much hope of bringing it back to life, he decided to try.

“The bottom is, you know, pretty uniform out there and sandy with some rocks, and it’s like, that’s a square thing!” Brooking recalled. “I didn’t expect this one to come back on because it was it was starting to get too crusty.”

To his surprise, after a week in a bag with salt and rice to get rid of the moisture, the handheld started charging and turned on. Apart from the date, which had remained stuck at December 21, the day it had been lost, everything seemed to be in working order. After managing to unlock it, Dr. Brookins was able to find the owner’s email and contact him about returning it to them.

“I was in shock,” Zach Siggelkow said. “One, that he found it, obviously, two, that he was able to log in to the phone, recover the video and find my email address.”


Unlocking the iPhone sounds like quite a feat, but then again, the 27-year-old owner admits that his security code was just a series of ‘1’, so not the toughest password to break, really.

Apple claims that the iPhone 14 can survive up to 6 meters underwater for 30 minutes, but this one spent 33 days at the bottom of the ocean, so I guess Apple is selling its smartphones short. And this story is actually not unique. A couple of years ago, we wrote about an iPhone 11 that spent a year at the bottom of a lake and still worked, and last year we posted a story about another iPhone that spent 10 months at the bottom of a river.

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