The Heartwarming Story of a Lost GoPro and Family Memories

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. 

[via KARE]

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5 Comments

Tom Lim's picture

What are the odds that this is a fake story as a marketing ploy for GoPro? A lot of that going around these days. EDIT: Not saying it's for sure fake, just is it a possibility? I hope it's NOT fake.

VJ Tristram Vailoces's picture

Am a physician and have been at many bedside of dying patients and their families, so contrary to your cynical view, this is a daily happening. A marketing strategy that would harp on a family's misfortune of losing a child would be very misguided and potentially damaging to said company, I don't know, if I should feel sorry for you for being so skeptical. I hope you find peace in your own life.

Tom Lim's picture

VJ, I hope you're right, because it would be awful if it was fake, and I hope it's not fake. I don't deny that this is a daily happening, but people have been known to take advantage. I also don't deny being cynical, cause there is a lot of stuff on the Internet that is not true at all.

Mark Fletcher's picture

All due respect, Tom - that's madness. Not only do GoPro not really need marketing, being the defacto action camera, but if they did, surely they'd go back to their failsafes of epic surfing, skating or skydiving? Not...cliff jumping and a stereotypically narrated US news story.

I'm convinced this is as real as they say it is.

Tom Lim's picture

Very good points and you are probably right. I have a bad habit of being overly skeptical. :(
I guess to answer my original question: VERY slim odds.