HONOLULU (KHON2) — A total of 33 days underwater was how long one visitor’s iPhone was left in the ocean off Waikiki before it was found.
The phone still worked after being found and the original owner was recording a video at the time he dropped it.
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Zach Siggelkow had kayaked before, but only on Minnesota’s Great 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 before he returned to Minnesota without his phone.
Dr. Karl Brookins — a retired fisheries scientist — entered the story over one month later. Dr. Brookins takes photos and puts them up along Art on the Zoo Fence every weekend. He 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 it 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, but,” he said.
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“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!”