Last year two Florida teens were tragically lost at sea on a fishing trip. The boat they were using when they disappeared has now been recovered and will soon be sent back to the US.
It was found by a Norwegian supply ship approximately 100 miles from the coast of Bermuda. Personal items including an iPhone have been found in the boat. The family of one of the boys issued a statement thanking the Norwegian captain.
Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen disappeared last July after leaving the Jupiter inlet. Two days later the boat was spotted off New Smyrna Beach but by the time the Coast Guard went to retrieve it, it had gone and the search was called off a week later. Autstin’s iPhone is one of the personal items which have been retrieved.
Perry’s mother Pamela has issued a statement
"Throughout this ordeal, we have hoped and prayed that we will find out the truth about what happened to our beloved son. In a nearly miraculous turn of events, we now have what may be the key to answering so many question we all have about that fateful day. As a mother, I owe it to Perry to fight for him when he cannot. We need to avail ourselves of the best resources and intelligence to preserve and retrieve this potentially vital iPhone information. This is no less a serious matter to us, than it has been for the San Bernardino families. We all want truth and transparency. So far, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has left it to Austin’s Family to give their consent to put the iPhone in the hands of independent professionals in this area of expertise. And so far, we have no confirmation they are consenting to that fair process. We urge Austin’s Family to do the right thing and to allow law enforcement to retain the iPhone until arrangements can be made to retain the top forensic teams available to begin to look for the answers we so desperately need"
Alan Crowetz was asked by Channel 5 news whether or not anything can still be retrieved from the device. He said it could be full of data but due to several factors, retrieving anything will be challenge.
He went on to explain that salt water is very corrosive. It’s very damaging. Had the device been exposed to fresh water, there would be a reasonably chance but salt water raises the challenge another level and that specialists would need to be brought in to examine the phone.