iPhone Dropped into Smith Lake in Arley, AL…Recovered by Ring Finder with Metal Detector and Blu3 Nemo!
Christina McCree – Ring Finder/Metal Detectorist for northern Alabama and southern/middle Tennessee…call or text ASAP, anytime 24/7…610-504-6135
It’s been a slow year so far on lost item calls. This could be a good thing — people aren’t losing stuff, or they just don’t know that a service like The Ring Finders exists.
On Friday (March 17th, 2023), my husband and I were just pulling up to our house after enjoying a nice brunch in town when I received a call from Corey. Corey explained that his girlfriend’s (Sara) iPhone had dropped into Smith Lake the evening prior. He thought the water was about 5 feet deep in that spot and it wasn’t a large search area, because of how the phone entered the water. Corey and Sara had just finished kayaking when Sara set her iPhone on a spring-loaded box on the pier. It was dark outside, and Corey didn’t know it was there. When he popped the box lid open, her phone slid off into the water. I had no other commitments that day and it was my Friday off, so I told Corey that I would gather up my gear and be on my way.
It was a one hour and 25 minute drive from my home in Harvest to the lake house in Arley, Alabama. I met up with Corey and Sara and they showed me what happened. They helped me haul my gear from my truck down to the pier. My handheld Hawkeye depth finder showed the depth to be between 5.3 to 6.5 feet depending on where I was standing around the deck box. It also showed the water temperature at 47.3 degrees Fahrenheit. A little chilly for my liking, but I had my 7mm Henderson Greenprene wetsuit, 5mm hood, 5mm gloves, and 7mm boots to keep me warm. Plus, I didn’t expect to be in the water that long since it was a phone and small search area. Then once I got into the water, I felt very comfortable in that gear.
I got geared up and hopped in the water. I could touch bottom as I got closer to the shoreline, and there were some rocks I could stand on a few feet from where the box was in the photo above. I had my Minelab Equinox 800 with the 15-inch coil. I was able to cover most of the area by where the phone would’ve slid into the water. I had a really good signal that I thought was Sara’s iPhone. There was about a foot or two drop off to that signal from where I was standing. However, I had trouble descending because I was too buoyant. I’ve dove with the Greenprene wetsuit before, but I had my BCD on that time. This time, I wasn’t using my BCD, so I needed to add more weight. This took a couple of attempts to get closer to being neutrally buoyant. I tried diving on that signal again, but had trouble staying down long enough to check it, because I needed just a little more weight. While I had a wrist mounted dive light, the visibility wasn’t the greatest and the phone was in a black case. I was hoping that I could just free dive and recover the phone, but decided to break out my Blu3 Nemo dive system, so that I could take my time to locate the signal while I was submerged.
We got the Nemo setup, and I relocated the signal. I made my descent and was able to hold onto a rock to keep my position steady. I searched around with my flashlight, fanned away some silt, and thought I caught sight of a phone. I grabbed it and sure enough, I had Sara’s iPhone in hand!!! I immediately thanked the Lord! I resurfaced and waved the phone for everyone to see. Big smiles and cheering all around! Sara and Corey were so happy and thankful for the recovery!
Corey helped me out of the lake. I took off the wetsuit and grabbed some dry clothes to change into. We all headed up to the lake house to warm up. Corey’s mom, Hilary, was there along with Corey’s brother and sister. We all enjoyed some friendly conversation before heading back down to the pier. We took some photos and packed up my gear. Sara now had her iPhone back, including the sim card that contained all of her cherished memories — pictures, videos, and other important data.
Thank you, God, for another successful recovery and safe trip! As I always say, I love getting to go on these adventures, hear everyone’s story, and find/return these precious items to people! Best job and feeling in the world!!! Proud to be a member of Chris Turner’s, The Ring Finders, and looking forward to the next adventure…
If you or someone you know has lost a ring, jewelry, keys, cell phone or other metal item, please contact a member of The Ring Finders.