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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Phone Containing Woman's Texts with Late Father Pulled from River, Still Works Year Later

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Hunting for lost treasure is something many have entertained at one point or another, most often as children. But whether it’s fossils, pirate chests or buried gold, the dream of finding hidden treasure often stays just that.

But some people do find ways to turn treasure-seeking into a productive pursuit into their adult years, using metal detectors on land and diving to find forgotten artifacts underwater.

Michael Bennett from South Carolina is one of those people. He runs social media catalogs of his findings under the moniker “Nugget Noggin,” where he posts his various finds from the mundane to the spectacular.

“I’m Michael, I love to get outdoors and discover awesome things with my metal detector,” his about me page reads on YouTube. “I started treasure hunting when I was 12 years old and shortly after received my first metal detector.”

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“Since then, I’ve been hooked and just love going out to search for the unknown. You may see me in the woods crawling under an old house or diving down in the river to search for rings. Wherever the adventure brings us, I’ll try my best to keep you entertained.”

Golf balls and coins are some of Bennett’s more typical discoveries, but occasionally he comes across electronics as well. It was during a scuba trip to the Edisto River in South Carolina that he found a phone that’s become particularly newsworthy.

“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,” Bennet told WKRN.

Bennett cleaned it off, removed the case and tried to bring the phone back to life.

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

Not so easily deterred, Bennett took out the SIM card and put it in another phone, which enabled him get in touch with the owner of the phone.

Erica Bennett was surprised to hear that her phone had been recovered.

“On June 19 2018 last year, we went on a river float with the family,” she said. But this wasn’t just any phone, as Michael explained on social media.

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“I found a lost iPhone in the river while scuba diving and I was able to return it to the owner,” he posted on Facebook on Sept. 25. “The phone was underwater for 15 months in the river and it still works, thanks to the waterproof case.”

“Not only was she was able to get back the phone, but irreplaceable texts messages from her deceased father,” he wrote. “Such a heart touching story. Thank God for leading me to this awesome find!”

Erica was thrilled to get this last little bit of her late father back, and with her phone once more in her possession she’s been transferring all the important content.

“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?'” she said.

“And I think he had called me after that. I’m pretty sure it was Father’s Day.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking