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Apple to examine iPhone of Florida teens lost at sea

The water-damaged phone could hold clues to the fate of the boys, whose families had initially disagreed as to how the device should be dealt with.

The damaged iPhone.

The damaged iPhone.

AustinBlu Foundation

Apple will try to retrieve data from the water-damaged iPhone that belonged to one of the two teen boaters lost at sea last July off Florida, says a report.

Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos vanished during a fishing trip around July 24, but Stephanos' phone, which could hold clues to their fate, was recovered last month along with their boat off the coast of Bermuda.

At a hearing Friday, the families of the two boys were able to reach an agreement about the phone, according to Miami TV station WPLG. The iPhone 6 will be shipped to Apple, and any data the company retrieves will be given to the court.

The families had disagreed as to the fate of the device, with the Cohens worried that if law enforcement returned it to the Stephanos family, valuable data could be lost. Earlier this week, the Cohens filed suit, asking a judge for a preliminary injunction barring the return of the phone.

The Stephanos family, meanwhile, said it had been talking with Apple about getting the phone to work again. The family said it had been doing so quietly, though, because of the recent publicity surrounding Apple's refusal to help the FBI retrieve data from a terrorist's iPhone. That conflict, the family thought, might interfere with its efforts.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.