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Diver returns iPhone – but beware old Apple watch-straps!


Carla Dopson found a working iPhone on her first dive
Carla Dopson found a working iPhone on her first dive

A scuba diver exploring a remote part of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has reunited a snorkeller with a mobile phone he had lost 10 days earlier.

Alex Jara, visiting Queensland from Victoria with his wife Dayana, had signed up for a Valentine’s Day snorkel tour off Hook Island, in a remote part the Whitsunday Islands. Alex had dived in, lost his mask and, in trying to retrieve it, managed to lose his phone in its waterproof lanyard as well.

Scuba divers on the tour-boat had scoured the area without success. However, with so many images of sentimental value stored on the device, Jara activated a “Lost Phone” message along with his contact details on its home screen – just in case.

And, despite the secluded nature of the site, it took only days before a newly qualified local scuba diver came up with the phone. Carla Dopson of Airlie Beach told ABC News that her group were diving on the protected northern side of Hook Island only because in the poor weather it was less exposed. 

She was enjoying her first dive since becoming certified when she spotted a recognisable logo at a depth of 15m. The phone was buried in sand but, fortunately, the Apple symbol had remained visible.

Back home she charged the phone, saw the message and called the astonished and grateful Jaras, who have now been reunited with the device. “The ocean is so big… we could have been 10m off to the left of it or 10m off to the right,” observed Dopson.

Beware original straps

In the USA, meanwhile, scuba diver Darick Langos from Port Barrington, Illinois reports that he can’t stop recovering Apple smartwatches from lake-beds.

A few of the watches recovered by diver Darick Langos (Scuba Bear Diving Recovery Service)
A few of the watches recovered by diver Darick Langos (Scuba Bear Diving Recovery Service)

With some 200 now recovered, he has warned owners that the original sports bands fitted to the watches could not be relied on to secure them under water.

Langos makes a living recovering lost items with the help of an underwater metal detector through his Scuba Bear Diving Recovery Service, and told Shaw’s Local that that most of the Apple devices he has recovered have been fitted with the original bands.

Although Langos had been commissioned to find some of these and other watches, he had come across many on his regular dives – and says he keeps every one in case it can be reunited with its owner.

In fact he says he hangs on to everything he finds for that reason rather than selling it, including phones, spectacles and lost jewellery that includes a white-gold Cartier ring.

Also read: Phone survives 5 months underwater in a Sealife housing, Disconnected in Bali: A tale of loss and rediscovery, Lost Apeks regulator survives three years submerged in the sea, Lost prosthetic leg recovered from Lake Windermere

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