Woman's iPhone miraculously works after spending 15 months at bottom of river

The phone held sentimental value to Erica Bennett.

A woman who lost her cellphone in June 2018 in a South Carolina river got the surprise of a lifetime when a diver said he had found it -- and it still worked.

Erica Bennett dropped her iPhone in the Edisto River while she was out with family, she told ABC Charleston affiliate WCIV.

“We got done with the river float and gathered all of our belongings up and it just fell and we didn’t notice it fell into the water,” she said.

It had been in a waterproof case so her husband, Jason, went out to search for it but came up short.

While the phone itself could be easily replaced, it contained text messages and pictures of her late father that she feared were gone forever.

Last Tuesday, she found out they weren’t.

Michael Bennett, a YouTube star who frequently goes on dives for treasure, found the iPhone still in its case about 10 feet below the surface in the river.

“That thing had like black erosion all over it. It had been there for a long time,” Bennett, who has no relation to Erica Bennett, told ABC News Wednesday.

He said when he brought it back up, he took it home and plugged it in. To his surprise, it turned on.

He took out her SIM card and plugged it into a different phone to find her contacts. After a few calls around, he finally reached Bennett.

She was shocked that it still worked, and grateful that she still had the memories with her father.

Michael Bennett was happy he could deliver the good news to Erica Bennett.

"It's just a memory of their conversations and all the interactions she had with her father," Bennett said.

It’s because of stories like hers that he enjoys diving.

"I just try to find stuff from the past and things that tell a story," he said.