iPhone 12 canal rescuers further detail MagSafe fishing expedition

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The rescuers who recovered an iPhone 12 Pro from a canal using a MagSafe fishing line have released a video showing how it was done.

When a friend told developer Frederik Riedel about dropping an iPhone 12 Pro into a Berlin canal, the two of them ultimately devised a way to retrieve it. As previously reported, they constructed a fishing line with a magnet attached in order to connect to the MagSafe charging area on the back of the phone.

"Time to reflect on what really happened," Riedel has now written in a new blog about the rescue, which also includes a video.

The video shows the last few moments and a triumphant friend finally grabbing hold of the iPhone 12 Pro as it was slowly drawn out of the canal. Riedel's blog, details the initially fruitless time they spent trying to find where the phone was in the water.

"You might think, why not locate the phone via Find My, or use the built-in Apple Watch feature to turn on the phone's LED?" continues Riedel. "Well, Bluetooth, GPS, and Cellular Connections dont work in water unfortunately."

So instead the pair slowly drew their "fishing line" across the bottom of the canal — and found that of course magnets connect to metal as well as MagSafe.

"[We pulled] all kinds of junk out of the canal (hiking equipment, bicycle parts, a car bumper, an old key, and loads of bottle caps)," says Riedel.

After 90 minutes of that, they did succeed in finding the iPhone 12 Pro, but then lost it again. "[We] pulled the phone too fast, so that it detached and tumbled back down into the mud, slowly rotating around its own axis, and turning the screen on."

"This event was pure motivation," continues Riedel. "Now we knew: the phone was really here, the magnets would work (if pulled slowly enough), and the phone was still alive!"

As shown in the video, when the phone was next found, Riedel and unnamed friend raised it up painstakingly slowly. "And it really worked. MagSafe was strong enough and we were able to recover it from there. The best thing is, the screen turned on immediately, delivering missed Tinder notifications, without any damage," says Riedel.

In all, Riedel reveals that from the initial loss of the phone through to its recovery, the iPhone 12 Pro was in the Berlin canal for seven hours.

"At this point, we really have to give props to the iPhone Hardware Engineering team," concludes Riedel. We were able to recover the device in perfect mint condition and without water damage. The new Ceramic Shield Glass really held up to the strong forces of the magnet and junk in the canal, and the IP68 water resistance is mind-blowing."

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