Phone. Wallet. Keys. Some of our most important personal items are also the most commonly lost. In fact, one study found that:
“70 million smartphones are lost each year, with only 7 percent recovered.”
Recently, in Utah’s Deer Creek Reservoir, a scuba instructor recovered a man’s phone and wallet, which had been lost at the bottom for several years.
Evan Byington is a Utah local who takes a few ice fishing trips to Utah every year with his friends. In 2019, Byington was ice fishing with a friend on Deer Creek Reservoir when he stood up and catapulted his phone and wallet off his lap through their ice hole. Byington knew he had made an expensive mistake that millions of Americans make each year as he watched his belongings sink to the bottom of the reservoir. Byington stated, after a long day of ice fishing:
“I canceled my credit card, went in and got a new driver’s license, and got my new card in the mail.”
Just over two years later, though, in June 2021, Evan’s phone and wallet were recovered by Matthew Wesselink, a scuba instructor from Colorado. Wesselink was scuba diving with a group of students on Deer Creek Reservoir when he noticed a phone and wallet right in front of his face. As told by Wesselink:
“I drop down and 20 feet down there was a phone right in front of me… There were 56 dollars of cash in there and you could tell it had been there a long time because it was diluted.”
Reportedly, Wesselink went on to find Byington on Facebook as well as replace his washed-up money at the bank. “The two men are planning to meet up in August at Deer Creek Reservoir, where Wesselink will return the phone and money.” Yes, good people still do exist!
Phones, wallets, keys, and other personal items are lost every day by countless individuals who have slim to no hope of recovering them. In the story of Evan and Matthew, however, in a case where a phone and wallet were stuck deep underwater below a thick layer of ice, the items were still recovered. It is safe to say that sometimes we are all in need of our own Matthew Wesselink, who can bring us back our lost belongings. So, the next time you lose something important, remember that there is always hope of recovery and that these odds can be improved with products such as the Apple AirTag, Tile, TrackR, or even new and improved phone cases.