It’s ice fishing season again, so strap on your boots, make sure your auger is working, and try to find a secure place for your phone so it doesn’t fall into the lake. That last part happened to Michael Guntrum last year while he was out ice fishing with a few friends.
In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Guntrum relived the moments that led up to him becoming iPhoneless. “We were having negative-25-degree weather, so me and two buddies went ice fishing. 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.”
And that was that. The lake was later drained due to a structural deficiency in its dam, and that’s when things took an interesting turn. Daniel Kalgren, a mechanical engineer by profession and part-time treasure hunter based solely on the fact that he owns a metal detector, took a ride to the area that used to be the lake and went for a walk in hopes of finding things that people tossed overboard.
When his metal detector started going off, he dug, and soon found Guntrum’s old iPhone 4 under 6 inches of mud. Not expecting much, he took it home, cleaned it, placed it in rice to dry, then charged the phone. After 2 days, it was alive.
Kalgren then looked up Guntrum’s number and sent him a picture of the phone. “I had just been talking about that lake early that day. It was eerie,” Guntram recollected. “He sent me a picture and asked, ‘Does this look familiar?’ and I recognized the screensaver.”
The phone’s case, made by Ottorbox, probably had a lot to do with the phone’s survival. Kalgren has an iPhone 6 himself, though in a LifeProof case, and seeing the screen of this old phone light up again has
further indoctrinated strengthened his allegiance to Apple products.
Currently, the phone is in the hands of the United States Postal Service, making its way to Guntrum. When asked what he planned on doing with the phone, he simply replied, “My mom needs a smartphone, so I’ll give it to her.”