iPhone 8 recovered after 2 months in a river — and it still works

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iPhone
Apple builds impressively waterproof phones.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Skeptical about how water-resistant modern iPhones are? Try telling that to the woman who discovered her iPhone in the Thames river in London two months after she dropped. Still in working order.

Twenty-nine-year-old Thayse Bussolo-Vieira said she was feeding the swans in early February when her brand new iPhone 8 fell out of her pocket and into the river. According to the Mirror newspaper, she was “devastated” because it contained thousands of photos she had not backed up to iCloud.

She considered jumping into the river to retrieve her sunken iPhone. However, she opted not to after deciding that it was too dangerous. Two months later, she and her fiancé were walked past the same spot in Staines-upon-Thames, Surrey, when they spotted the phone on the riverbed.

“As the river was calm and the weather was nice we could see the iPhone clearly,” said Thayse’s fiancé. “It was in the same place, just sitting at the bottom like a rock.”

The iPhone was two meters (6.5 feet) underwater in the fast-flowing river. The pair headed home, then returned with a homemade fishing net, made by attaching a kitchen sieve to the end of a broom. Working together, they were able to recover the phone. “We were screaming and everything,” Thayse said. “But of course we didn’t know if it was going to work.”

The duo dried the phone overnight and then connected it to a charger. It worked. “I could not believe it,” Thayse said. “[It made me] so pleased I got my photos back. I thought they were gone forever.”

The iPhone 8 carries an IP67 rating. This theoretically means that it can survive being in three feet (0.9 meters) of water for up to half an hour. Or, you know, two months at the bottom of a freezing cold river!