This is a user submitted story from CrackBerry.com member Brett W (username ViperSBT). Note that the events of this story occur in the past - February 2008.
I bought my 8700 August of 2006 and have used and abused it the whole time. I have dropped it more times than I care to admit, but it has always worked and has never given me any problems nor has it ever lost its good looks... :) Last Christmas my wife (then 6 months pregnant) had a 12 month old Motorola Razor that with less use and abuse than my BlackBerry was in very rough shape (the screen was almost unusable). Being the thoughtful husband I am, I got her a new Blackberry 8310. She immediately fell in love with it and has been very happy with it ever since.
With that said, last Tuesday evening (Feb 5th, 2008) we were at our church by ourselves and I was working on some video editing for our church's television broadcast. My wife was monitoring weather on her BlackBerry and mine was sitting on the counter next to me. She was monitoring the weather because we were in the middle of a very bad storm and there were Tornado warnings. Everything we were watching was telling us the tornadoes were likely to be north of us, but that did not turn out to be the case.
When the tornado hit our church my wife and I had huddled together in the center of the building just before the building blew apart -- there was nothing left when it was over. We were buried under a bunch of chairs that protected us as everything else was flying around us. When it finished I asked my wife if she managed to keep her BlackBerry and she had. So she called 911 and let them know where we were and help was on the way. I took my wife's phone and started trying to call other people that we knew near by, but couldn't get any signal. It wasn't but a few minutes after that when we started hearing the sirens and eventually could hear the voices of the rescue workers looking for us. My wife began calling out to them and they could hear us but couldn't see us, so I turned on the screen's backlight and started shining it in their direction, they quickly picked it out (it was around 9pm so it was very dark) and got us uncovered. We rushed to the hospital to check and make sure that the baby was OK as well and everything has turned out fine.
I sat in the hospital thinking about all that had happened and the one thing that I kept thinking about was losing my trusted BlackBerry. I knew it was a goner, ever since buying the 8310 for my wife I had been considering an 8820, but at the same time not seeing a reason to buy one when my 8700 was still such a great phone. The next morning I went out to the church to look around a little bit to see if there was any chance at all of finding my phone. Thinking about the incredible wind and force that swept it up, along with all the rain that it would have had to gone through the rest of the night I just knew that even if I had found it, it would be DOA. I asked a friend that was there with me to try calling my phone, he laughed at me thinking the same thing I had been but he went ahead and did it. Seconds later we heard my phone ringing!!! We started digging through the rubble and found it buried below a bunch of mud and debris just ringing away. The screen showed I had missed a lot of calls and had a lot of voicemail from all the people that were checking on us. The keyboard and click-wheel were not working as I figured so I pulled the battery to shut it down.
I figured I would give it a few hours to dry out and try it again. I got home and let it rest for awhile, then I went out to my workshop and brushed off all the mud and gunk that was covering the phone. I cleaned it as best I could, went back in and put in the battery and it fired right up... I was excited, but still pessimistic knowing it wasn't going to work. The wheel was working, but not clicking and the keyboard was only partially working and was double entering entries... I pulled the battery and thought that if it doesn't work in the morning, it just isn't going to work.
The next morning I got up and went back to my trusted BlackBerry and put the battery in and turned it back on. It started up. It was back to working just like it had before the storm!!! The only difference now versus then is that it has a big scratch on the screen and a crack in the case, but it is still working as good as always.
RIM has built an incredible product, it has served me well and has far exceeded all of my expectations. Anyone that ever asks me about what kind of phone to buy I have always encouraged them to get a BlackBerry device and will even more so urge them now.
Here are some links to show what happened:
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