Skip to main content

An iPhone 8 still works after spending 2 weeks at the bottom of the UK's River Thames

iPhone 8 8 in River Thames
iPhone 8 8 in River Thames (Image credit: The Sun)

What you need to know

  • A woman dropped her iPhone 8 into the River Thames.
  • She revisited the spot two weeks later and found the phone.
  • After drying and charging, the iPhone still works..

We've heard stories of iPhones surviving underwater before, but this is one of the best. After dropping her iPhone 8 in the River Thames in Staines, England, Thayse Bussolo-Vieira thought it was gone for good. Until she revisited the same spot two weeks later and found it.

Amazingly, it still works, too!

According to The Sun, the iPhone 8 was fished out of the water before being dried off in rice and then charged. Thankfully the handset sprang to live – with all 20,000 of the woman's photos intact.

Thayse said: "It turned on. I was like 'yay, it's working'. I could not believe it.""I was so pleased I got my photos back. I thought they were gone for ever."Talking about how she lost the phone, she said: "The river was high and strong and my handset just fell out. It had almost 20,000 photos."

The story goes that consideration was given to jumping in after the iPhone after it took its dive, but the water was too deep and the current too fast to make it safe to do. And no, nothing was backed up.

She considered jumping in to rescue the £480 device as it contained thousands of treasured photos she had not backed up, but decided against it as the water was too dangerous.

Has she never heard about iCloud Photo Library?

While the woman's iPhone 8 is water-resistant, it was never intended to sit at the bottom of a river for two weeks. It doesn't look like the iPhone was in any kind of case either, making this all the more amazing.

This isn't the longest an iPhone has survived underwater, though. An iPhone 11 lived in a Disney World lake for two months and lived to tell the tale.

Oliver Haslam
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.