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Man’s iPhone 4 survives plunge into icy lake for 18 months

One of Apple’s famous slogans is “it just works,” although if they always worked, would there be a use for the Genius Bar? Anyway, when you purchase a pricey smartphone, you expect performance and reliability. After all, we depend on these devices for everything from calling emergency road service to ordering pizza.

So you’ve got your Android fans and your iPhone fans. Michael Guntrum of Knox, Pennsylvania is one of the latter. He was ice fishing with a friend on Kyle Lake on March 2015 when he accidentally dropped his iPhone 4 into the freezing water.

“We were sitting in our portable shanty, and I got a bite on my rod. I laid the phone on my lap, and it slipped off. Instead of landing flat in the snow, it hit its edge and rolled into the hole. I caught the fish — it was a blue gill — but it wasn’t worth it.”

No, it wasn’t. But there’s more to the story. In September the lake was drained. Then in October, Daniel Kalgren was out hunting for buried treasure with his metal detector in the now-empty lake basin, and what did he come across? An iPhone 4 buried in the mud. He told BuzzFeed News, “I took the phone home, cleaned it, and put it in rice — just out of curiosity to see if it would still work.”

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Two days later Kalgren checked on the phone and it booted right up (there’s that “it just works” slogan earning its keep). Kalgren located Guntrum’s number and told him about the phone he had found. Guntrum was skeptical at first. “‘I had just been talking about that lake early that day. It was eerie,’” he said. “’He sent me a picture and asked, ‘Does this look familiar?’ and I recognized the screensaver.’”

Kalgren said the phone was in an OtterBox iPhone case, and that might have helped the device survive the chilly waters for so long.

Apple commented, “It never ceases to amaze us, all the incredible iPhone survival stories our customers have shared with us.”

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Kalgren only buys Apple devices, and it’s a pretty safe bet that Guntrum is a Cupertino loyalist, too. According to the story, Guntrum is going to have the phone repaired and eventually pass it onto Mom.