Great Barrier Reef scuba diver reunites Victorian couple with mobile phone lost at sea – ABC News

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A Victorian couple have been reunited with their mobile phone 10 days after it was lost at sea during a snorkelling trip on the Great Barrier Reef. 

Dayana and Alex Jara had been enjoying a Valentine’s Day snorkel tour off the coast of Hook Island, a largely uninhabited and remote part of the Whitsundays, when the trouble started.

“My husband dove in, and his scuba mask fell off, and he dove in to get it, and he had a [waterproof] lanyard with his mobile phone,” Ms Jara said.

“He retrieved the mask, but his phone came off his head.

“It just literally disappeared into darkness — he couldn’t see past his nose.”

Professional divers onboard the adventure boat tour scoured the area but came up empty-handed.

In the unlikely hope it would one day be recovered, the couple activated a lost phone message and shared their contact details on the home screen. 

A large island covered in green trees, surrounded by crystal blue water

Located 30 kilometres off the Queensland coast, Hook Island is a popular snorkel spot for tourists.(Supplied: Tourism Whitsundays)

‘Lost for words’

Ms Jara thought it was a joke when the couple received a call more than a week later from a stranger who claimed to have found the phone.

“To this day, we are still shocked … I’m just lost for words,” Ms Jara said.

“Who’s going to find a phone in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef?”

Airlie Beach resident Carla Dopson was on her first dive since gaining her scuba licence when she spotted an object on the sea floor about 15 metres below the surface.

She said poor weather had forced the tour group to dive on the northern side of the island, which was more protected.

“It [the phone] looked out of place because it was covered in sand but I could see the Apple symbol on the phone,” Ms Dopson said.

“I held it up with a sort of shocked look on my face, as much as you can possibly do underwater with scuba gear.”

phone message

The couple activated an emergency lost phone alert in the hope the phone would be recovered.(Supplied: Dayana Jara)

‘Can’t believe it’

After returning to land, Ms Dopson took the device home to charge when she saw the emergency message and called Ms Jara. 

“We just both squealed on the phone and she’s like, ‘No way! I can’t believe it’,” Ms Dopson said.

“That person could have been anywhere in the world … we have so many foreign tourists coming here.”

Carla snorkel

Carla Dopson found the phone on her first scuba expedition.(Supplied: Carla Dopson)

Ms Jara received the phone back this week and said it was full of precious photos from their Queensland holiday with her one-year-old granddaughter.

“It was just all these little memories of her meeting the Warner Brother characters [at Movie World] … all those were gone,” she said.

Ms Dopson has put the discovery down to a stroke of good fortune.

“The ocean is so big … we could have been 10 metres off to the left of it or 10 metres off to the right.”

“The luck of it happening … just crazy.”


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