Diver discovers iPhone lost in river for over a year, it holds texts from woman’s late father

DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV/CNN) - If you’ve ever wondered if those waterproof cellphone holders really work, the answer seems to be a resounding yes.

A diver discovered a phone that has been at the bottom of the Edisto River for more than a year, and it powered on right away.

But the real treasure was what the phone held in its text message history.

“I came across something that looked kind of like a rope maybe attached to car keys, and when I pulled it up, I seen a phone inside of a waterproof case and I’m like, ‘No way, this is unbelievable,’” Michael Bennett said.

It was a bit out of the ordinary for him as he’s used to finding things like golf balls and shark teeth for his YouTube channel, “Nugget Noggin.”

Bennett then had to find the owner, which because of security features on the phone, wasn’t easy.

“We charged the phone. When it turned on, it had a passcode, so you couldn’t get inside,” Bennett said.

He got a little savvy, putting the phone’s SIM card into a different phone. That allowed him to get the owner’s contact information.

That owner ended up being Erica Bennett, who lost the phone during a family trip on June 19, 2018.

As Erica Bennett got out of her float, the phone went into the river along with text conversations with her late father. She thought those precious messages were lost forever.

“It was kind of emotional because the last thing I have from him is saying, ‘Hey I’m playing phone tag with you, so I just figured I just text you, how are you feeling?’ And I think he had called me after that. I’m pretty sure it was Father’s Day,” Erica Bennett said.

The phone's screen is still kind of dark, but to have those messages back brightened Erica Bennett's day.

Now, she is transferring all of the most important files from that phone into her new one.

She said the phone was in a rechargeable case, which also still works.

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