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Sep 15 2016
by Matt Gehring

Student Loses Phone in River, Snorkeling Man Finds It Nearly A Month Later

By Matt Gehring - Sep 15 2016
187 shares

Four weeks after losing her phone, a University of Virginia student has learned to never lose hope. Maxine Clifford, a sophomore, is getting her phone back after nearly a month at the bottom of a river.

Maxine went on a massive tubing excursion on James River as part of a student-organized trip with hundreds of her peers. The trip took place the morning after Block Party, an unofficial Saturday night event at U-Va. where house parties are open up and down one of the off-campus streets.

While tubing, Maxine took her phone out to play music. Having a life-proof case on her phone, she figured she was in the clear even if it got a little wet. But before long, Maxine’s phone was more than a little wet. It was fully submerged in the waters of James River.

“It was sitting on the side of my tube when it accidentally got knocked off,” Maxine told Fresh U.

Maxine jumped out of her tube and searched for her phone, but she had already drifted away from where the phone went in.

“I thought it was lost forever, and so I ordered a new phone that came later that week.”

For Maxine, all hope was lost. Not many people would ever get their phone back from the bottom of a river.

So after getting an email this week from the U-Va. Academic ID Office informing her that someone found her phone, Maxine was shocked.

“I received a call from a man named Leonard Monopoli who was snorkeling in the James River and found your wallet and phone,” the email reads. “Please call and make arraignments [sic] to retrieve your belongings.”

Maxine posted the picture in her class’s Facebook group and it racked up more than 300 likes in 24 hours.

Facebook / Maxine Clifford

As for getting the phone back, Maxine is making arrangements, but she still doesn’t have much faith in her life-proof case. “I'm sure after a month on the bottom of the river it won't work,” she says.

Never lose hope, Maxine. Never lose hope.


Update: A day after getting the email, Maxine got her phone back from "Scuba Lenny" – yes, that's his actual Facebook name. The phone is very much broken, but the case and IDs she kept within it are in great condition. Thanks, Scuba Lenny!


Lead Image Credit: Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington / Flickr

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Matt Gehring - Syracuse University

Matt Gehring is a senior at Syracuse University studying television, radio, and film. He's into social media and a major pop culture junkie. Matt is Fresh U's Social Media Director and loves writing about what's trending. Follow him on Twitter: @mattryanx

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