We've all heard the numerous stories of GoPros seemingly lost forever, only to resurface ages later, somehow still intact and functional. This one put quite a smile on my face (and a bit of a lump in my throat).
I'm all for marveling at the latest video of someone doing an extreme ski jump over a flaming pit of lava while juggling swords, all in ultra-quadra HD, mega-slow motion. It's easy to forget sometimes that these portable, hardy cameras make for a great, unobtrusive way to document life's memories. When Kyle Puelston took an annual family trip to the Temperance River in Minnesota, he was thinking of the latter use.
That's why, when the camera came dislodged while Puelston was jumping into the river, he was devastated:
As soon as I hit the water, I knew it came off. As long as I could be down there, holding my breath, I tried to find it and I just couldn't. It's gone forever.
Sure enough, the video shows Kyle jumping into the river, before the camera comes off and falls to the bottom of the river, as silhouettes of swimmers and fish pass over it. About a year later, Chris Flores and his brother happened upon the camera in the river. In some impressive detective work, Chris noticed the patch on Puelston's uniform in a SWAT training video he had shot on the GoPro and used this information to track down its owner.
Flores noted that he was particularly motivated to return the camera after seeing Puelston's family memories on it, as his then four month-old daughter had suffered a heart attack that the family had nearly lost her to:
It's all so fleeting, we're not guaranteed tomorrow.
Puelston was so elated to receive the memories back that he told Flores to just send him the memory card and keep the camera. With all the bad in the world, it's certainly heartwarming and inspiring to see how family memories inspired the good in someone.