'Emergency' - teen halts tourist train after dropping iPhone

Eagle-eyed staff on the Taieri Gorge Railway managed to locate the iPhone belonging to Spencer Sutherland Todd, who ''panicked'' and pulled the train's emergency lever yesterday afternoon. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Eagle-eyed staff on the Taieri Gorge Railway managed to locate the iPhone belonging to Spencer Sutherland Todd, who ''panicked'' and pulled the train's emergency lever yesterday afternoon. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
A Dunedin teen brought the Taieri Gorge tourist train to a shuddering stop yesterday - after dropping his iPhone.

''I pulled the emergency thing that you only pull in extreme emergencies,'' a visibly relieved Spencer Sutherland Todd said yesterday, at the Dunedin Railway Station.

The 13-year-old was on the railway trip with his family and some visiting Australian friends when he decided to take a picture of the Mt Allan scenery on his iPhone.

But his quick snap turned into a teenage horror movie, when he dropped the phone he was given for Christmas two years ago.

''It is very important to me.''

His family watched in disbelief as Spencer pulled the emergency lever.

''I just panicked and pulled,'' he said.

The train stopped about 700m from where he dropped the phone, and staff undertook a quick but unsuccessful search, before saying they would look for it on the return trip.

Spencer said he did not expect to see his phone again, but to his amazement, an eagle-eyed staff member spotted it on the return journey. It was presented undamaged to Spencer, amid applause from his fellow passengers.

''I was very happy,'' he said.

Taieri Gorge Railway chief executive Murray Bond said using the train's emergency lever was ''not encouraged ... usually only in the event of a disaster''.

''Not the sort of thing we encourage, but this worked out nicely.

''That is the spirit of Taieri Gorge Railway; that we do things other companies won't necessarily do.''

hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

Emergency?

It's a sign of the times - losing a cellphone is now an emergency!

Ring it

Did no one think to actually ring the phone? That's usually the first thing you do when you can't find it.

A classic case

A classic case of the story of the "boy who cried wolf"

Good on ya TGR

Good on you for helping this chap who is obviously chastened by the experience. BTW he could have used Find My Phone if he'd had it installed and there was another iOS device handy.

Ah, diddums

Ever heard of insurance? 

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