HONOLULU (KHON) – One Hawaii visitor’s iPhone lasted 33 days underwater off of Oahu before it was found.
The phone still worked and played the video the owner was recording when he dropped it.
Zach Siggelkow had kayaked before, but only on Minnesota’s lakes. Hawaii’s waves – even 200 yards off Waikiki – are something he is not used to.
“And so I was recording some of the planes coming over, you know, Air Force planes coming over the top, and it was pretty neat just to capture that,” Siggelkow said. “You can see a bigger wave come and I’m like in my head like, ‘Ohhh! Here we go!’ And then you kind of tip over it. At that point, I was like trying to scramble to find my paddle, but I had my phone in my hand, too.”
That was Siggelkow’s last day of vacation and he returned to Minnesota without his phone.
Dr. Karl Brookins, a retired fisheries scientist, found the phone over one month later. Dr. Brookins takes a dive off Waikiki every so often.
“The bottom is, you know, pretty uniform out there and sandy with some rocks,” Dr. Brookins said. “And it’s like, that’s a square thing! And there was a pair of sunglasses sitting right next to it.”
Dr. Brookins put the phone in a bag of rice and salt to suck out the moisture, just in case. He plugged it in to charge one week later.
“Charged it up and turned it on,” Dr. Brookins said, “and there it said, Dec. 21! I found it on Jan. 23.
According to Apple’s website, iPhone 14 models can be submerged at a maximum depth of six meters for up to 30 minutes. The water Siggelkow dropped his phone in was about four to five feet deep, but it stayed there for 33 days.
“I was in shock. One, that he found it obviously. Two, that he was able to log in to the phone, recover the video and find my email address,” Siggelkow said.
To Siggelkow’s surprise, Dr. Brookins sent the phone back free of charge.
“I just send it away. It’s good Aloha. You know, if he wants to send me the cost of shipping it to them, that’s fine…” he said.
“Check is in the mail for him, you know, a few extra bucks on top of the shipping and handling there,” Siggelkow said. “So, hopefully, he gets that soon!”