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Stranger Finds Phone in a River and Tracks Down Owner to Return Sentimental Photos


OWAIN DAVIES/MIGUEL PACHACO

A man who—when canoeing for his bachelor party lost his iPhone on a river in Gloucestershire—was absolutely amazed when, ten months later, he saw sentimental photos of the party posted on Facebook in an effort to reunite the phone with the owner.

“I was in a two-man canoe and my partner probably shouldn’t have stood up, and needless to say we fell in,” Owain Davies, told BBC Radio Gloucestershire. “The phone was in my back pocket and as soon as it was in the water I realized the phone was gone.”

Gone for good perhaps, as water and electrical devices hardly mix.

After being immersed for ten months, another canoer, Miguel Pachaco, spotted something blue in the water.

Discovering Davies’ iPhone, some people would have thrown it away or hawked it to a phone refurbishment store.

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Instead, Pachaco, imagining there would be memories and important information on the phone, took it home, took it apart, and thoroughly dried every component out using an airline and compressor, and an airing cupboard.

In the morning, he attached it to a charger and boom, it turned on to reveal a homepage image of a beautiful couple and a date marked more than 10 months ago.

Pachaco shared pictures of the phone, and the screensaver on a Facebook group for Cinderford, the town that the river passes through—they were shared more than 4,000 times.

OWAIN DAVIES/MIGUEL PACHACO

Eventually, friends of Davies, who by then had moved to Edinburgh with his fiancé, saw the photos and alerted him.

He told the BBC that he couldn’t believe that after ten months of sitting in water, the phone could be not only restored to working order, but that someone would make the effort to find him

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“I know if I lost my phone, I’ve got a lot of pictures of my children, I know I’d want that back, ” Pachaco told the BBC.

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