Woman loses iPhone while paddleboarding in sea – and it washes up 500 days later

A woman who lost her phone at sea was stunned after it washed ashore and a stranger helped track her down using her credit cards -more than a year later.

Clare Atfield, 39, dropped her Apple iPhone 8+ while paddleboarding off the coast of her hometown of Havant, Hampshire.

She fell off her board on August 4, 2021 – and the phone sunk under the waves presumably never to be seen again.

It was tucked into a waterproof phone bag – and now incredibly Clare has it back.

The phone washed up on nearby Eastney beach totally undamaged 460 days later on November 7 this year – and found by a local dog walker.

He managed to track Clare down and now she has her mobile and precious photos back.

The finder located her using old credit and bank cards which were in the case – with her mum’s contact details on a medical card.

Clare, who had since got a new phone, said: ‘It’s crazy that it still worked, but it works perfectly.

‘It had not actually even travelled that far that far strangely.

‘I started paddleboarding in April 2021, I would go out before work, so I always kept my phone around my neck.

‘I had been paddle boarding quite far out to sea but I fell off my board.

‘I got back on and kept going – but then realised I had lost my phone.

‘It was quite far out to sea, but it was inside one of those phone protection cases which came with my paddleboard, so it must have sank and just stayed there.

‘It was still inside that case when a man found it over a year later when it washed up on the beach, he found it while he was walking his dog.

‘I had actually also put my bank card and medical card inside the case too, so he was able to track me down and return it after calling a number for my mum on the card.

‘The gentleman who found it and I were both just in shock that it still worked. I never expected to see it again.

‘I can’t believe it still works. The back of the phone is completely smashed, so you would have thought water would have got in. It’s mad he managed to find it.

‘Both I and the gentleman who found it were completely in shock.

‘I’m stunned more damage wasn’t caused to it, especially how rough the sea can get down there, it’s mad.

‘I never thought I would have seen it again, or for it to be working.’

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