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Man drops Samsung phone into reservoir, orders whole thing drained to get it

He really, really, really wanted his phone back.

Published onMay 29, 2023

Samsung Galaxy logo macro
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • A government official in India accidentally dropped his Samsung phone into a reservoir.
  • Using his power as an inspector for the facility, he ordered the reservoir drained to get his phone back.
  • He has been suspended pending an investigation into the apparent abuse of power.

Rajesh Vishwas is a food inspector in India. During a routine inspection of the Kherkatta Dam in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh last Sunday, Mr. Vishwas took a selfie with his Samsung phone. During the photo session, he accidentally dropped his phone into the reservoir created by the dam.

Under normal circumstances, when you drop your Samsung phone like this, you just chalk it up as a loss. Mr. Vishwas, however, was not going to give up so easily (via BBC News).

Using his power as a government official, he first ordered a dive team to search for the phone. The dive team searched but came up empty. Once again, this did not deter Mr. Vishwas. He then paid for a diesel pump to drain the reservoir by moving some of the water to a nearby canal. Mr. Vishwas claimed to have verbal permission for this from another official.

Over three days, the diesel pump moved roughly two million liters (~440,000 gallons) of water. This is reportedly enough to irrigate six square kilometers (600 hectares) of farmland. In the end, Mr. Vishwas did retrieve the dropped Samsung phone. However, by that point, the phone had been underwater for too long and no longer functioned.

The exact model of the Samsung phone wasn’t disclosed, but it is likely to be a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, based on its listed price (~$1,200). If so, it had an IP68 rating, which only protects it from water at depths up to 1.5 meters for no longer than 30 minutes. In other words, there was almost no chance the phone would have been retrieved in working order.

Mr. Vishwas’ mission was only stopped when another official from the water resource department arrived to investigate following a complaint.

“[Rajesh Vishwas] has been suspended until an inquiry,” Priyanka Shukla, a Kanker district official, told The National newspaper. “Water is an essential resource, and it cannot be wasted like this.”

Mr. Vishwas claims he did nothing wrong.