iPhone se Found on Random Hunt at Matauri Bay - Traced and Returned

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Not all recoveries are planned, some are random exercises in detective work.
I was working Matauri Bay beach doing a casual hunt before work this morning, when I dug an iPhone SE. Usually phones are no more than fancy spirit levels when they come out of the tide but this one was a recent loss and showed potential to be able to at least allow the owner to salvage their photos and contacts.

I headed off to work a bit early in order to put the phone through intensive care, quick rinse in fresh water, dried it off and delicately picked the sand out of the charging port. Firing it up, it flickered to life, complained about flat battery and shut down. It lives! Hopefully I could now reunite the owner with their rather expensive phone.

While I charged it, I swapped the sim out into my phone to discover a couple of missed calls which occurred after loss and looked promising leads.

Dropped the sim back into the found phone and sent a text to both numbers from my one explaining the situation and asking if they had a name I could follow up…and waited.
On the off-chance it had been dropped by a camper at the adjacent holiday park, I phoned the office to enquire if anyone had lost a phone recently.
“Yes, a white iPhone”, “Well, I have found it!” – A cheer is heard in the background at the other end of the line. I arranged to drop it off after work.

It seems Nakita had dropped it a couple of days previously, the fact it had survived at least three tides was a testament to the quality of the phone as it had lain under the sand at about the half-tide mark spending quite a few hours underwater at each high tide.
A family member gratefully accepted it on behalf, and I headed home.