Apple Watch lost at sea for 6 months returned to owner in working condition

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA (KTLA/CNN) - A man who lost his Apple Watch in the ocean says he was surprised when it was returned to him after six months with all the data and apps still intact.

Robert Bainter often goes body surfing or boogie boarding at Huntington Beach in California, and usually, he has an Apple Watch on his wrist.

"This thing has been my good luck charm. I would use it quite often to show the surf and how fast you were going. It would even show you where you were on the beach,” Bainter said.

But one day, his watch went missing in the ocean.

“A huge wave came - and I was loving it, rode it - and then, I pick up my arm, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, what just happened?'" Bainter said.

The watch was gone from his wrist.

Bainter says he spent an hour looking for it then used Apple’s “Find my iPhone” app to turn on lost mode.

"I’m walking down, looking around. I just had this feeling I was going to get it back. I didn’t get too upset,” Bainter said.

Each visit to the beach was another opportunity to find the watch, but after six months, Bainter was giving up hope – until he got a call from a number he didn’t recognize.

"It was this guy saying, 'Hey, if your name is Rob Bainter and you lost an Apple Watch recently, give me a call. If you can describe it, I’ll give this thing to you,’” Bainter said.

The man who called found Bainter’s watch three miles north of where it went missing.

“He was just walking, looking for shells, and he found it right there. It was a dream come true. I couldn’t believe it,” Bainter said.

Even more unbelievable, Bainter says the watch worked fine; though the salt water had left a little haze on the screen.

"It worked fine, as though it didn’t skip a beat. All the information was there. All the apps were there,” Bainter said.

Bainter did buy a new Apple Watch, but he’s still amazed at just how resilient the old one was.

"I’m a big Apple fan. Kind of came from the bleeding edge of PCs and having the latest and greatest, and then, realizing you know what? Apple does that for you. They don’t put out the bleeding edge, but it’s the cutting edge done right,” he said.

Copyright 2019 KTLA, Tribune, Robert Bainter via CNN. All rights reserved.