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iPhone survives three days underwater in turbulent Idaho river

A recovered iPhone was still playing an alarm when found after three days submerged in 10 feet of water, in the Blackfoot area of Idaho.

River user Tom Adams capsized his kayak on June 12, 2021, and in the process lost his keys, fishing pole, wallet, and iPhone in the water. It’s a credit to both the water resistance of Apple’s engineers, and the battery life of the iPhone, though, because it was found still working on June 15.

To all our amazement, [the phone] was still on!” Adams told East Idaho News. “It was still alarming from my Sunday morning wake-up call reminder.”

It’s not known which model iPhone was involved, but a diving team recovered it alongside Adams’ keys and fishing pole. The wallet was seemingly not found.

The divers were from the Bingham County Search and Rescue Dive Team, who performed the recovery operation as part of a life-saving practice exercise.

“They use opportunities like this to practice and get more dive time in to prepare for the real calls, and more important events such as lifesaving,” continued Adams.. “Many members of the dive team met at the boat ramp, geared up, and hit the water. Because of the current, they had to use a safety line.”

Snake River’s strong current had made it seem unlikely that any items would be found. However, diver Jack Lusk recovered both the iPhone and the keys within 20 minutes of beginning the search.

“My family and I are incredibly grateful to the Bingham County Search and Rescue Dive Team,” said Adams. “We were so impressed with all of them and are grateful they use these opportunities to practice for the real, and more important, duty of saving lives later on.”

No iPhone is rated to survive under water for 72 hours like this. However, all iPhones since 2016 have offered at least some protection against water damage.

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