According to forensics firm 4Discovery, a company that handles the recovery of data from mobile devices, the information could be recoverable even if the phones remain underwater for weeks or months. Part of this process would be to keep the devices underwater until just before the data is mined. At that point, according to 4Discovery partner Chad Hough, "as long as the data cards are intact, the information is still there."
And that information, which could answer many questions, could be contained in unsent texts, videos and emails. And for the grieving families, any recovered phones could include a final message, written or videoed, that might prove comforting to survivors who have been through hell.
source: CNN via Gizmodo