Thanks to an unusual set of circumstances, a Pennsylvania man is reportedly having a lost iPhone 4 returned to him in working condition, despite losing it at the bottom of a lake in March 2015.
Michael Guntrum dropped the iPhone into an ice fishing hole in Kyle Lake after it slipped off his lap, BuzzFeed News said. The lake was drained in Sept. 2015 because of structural issues with its dam — this October, however, Daniel Kalgren discovered the phone with his metal detector as he was hunting for objects people might have dropped out of boats.
The phone was said to be buried under 6 inches of mud and clay, but protected by a rugged Otterbox case. Kalgren took the unit home, where he cleaned it off and put it in rice. To his surprise, it successfully turned on two days later.
Kalgren contacted Guntrum using a number on the phone, and is currently arranging to mail it to him. Guntrum said he plans to get the phone repaired so his mother can have a smartphone.
An Apple spokesperson claimed that the company often hears customer stories about iPhones surviving unusual conditions.
The revival of Guntrum's iPhone 4 is all the more unusual because the iPhone 7, released just this September, is only Apple's first model to be marketed as water-resistant. That suggests that the Otterbox case was entirely responsible for safeguarding Guntrum's device.