Idaho dive team rescues 'alarming' iPhone after 3 days at the bottom of a river

Recovered Iphone And Owner
Recovered Iphone And Owner (Image credit: Tom Adams)

What you need to know

  • Tom Adams dropped an iPhone, his keys, and more into the Snake River on June 12.
  • On June 15, everything was fished from the river by a specialist team – with the iPhone intact.

After dropping his iPhone and other items into the Snake River Idaho, Tom Adams probably thought it was gone for good thanks to the strong current and cold waters. But he was reunited with everything three days later – and the iPhone was not only in one piece, but working fine.

According to local reports, Adams was on the river when he capsized his kayak. Everything ended up in the water – including the person's iPhone.

Tom, who went to the river with his wife and friends, tipped his kayak near the Tilden Bridge Boat Ramp and lost his new phone, keys, fishing pole, and wallet in the swiftly moving current. Although Tom was wearing a lifejacket and managed to swim out of the river unharmed, he was discouraged by all the lost property.

But not to be beaten, the iPhone's owner returned three days later, rescue team in tow. The Bingham County Search and Rescue Dive Team agreed to help by way of getting more practice time in the water – and it's a good job they did. Sitting under 10 feet of water was the iPhone, still sounding its owner's Sunday morning alarm.

Despite the strong current and the days that had passed since Tom's kayak tipped, Jack Lusk, one of the divers, found Tom's iPhone and keys within 20 minutes of entering the water."To all our amazement, [the phone] was still on!" Tom recalled. "It was still alarming from my Sunday morning wake-up call reminder."

The report doesn't go into which iPhone was involved, but the recent iPhone 12 lineup is rated as IP68, or capable of withstanding a maximum depth of six meters up to 30 minutes. We know from past reports that these numbers are on the low side though, with devices spending days underwater only to survive.

Anyone spending any real time around water should probably check out our collection of the best waterproof cases because it's always better to be safe than sorry, right?

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.