The GoPro that refused to drown

A snorkler found a submerged GoPro and used the camera footage to find the owners

When Fiona Pickett lost her GoPro camera while paddling in the wetlands, she looked for it until she was convinced it was gone for good. Then she gave up and bought a new one.

“I went back, and I could never find it,” she said.

That was more than two years ago, but the submerged GoPro wasn’t dead. It was biding its time below the surface waiting to be found.

Hansen Dumais, 11, was snorkelling in Lake Windermere last summer when he came across something shiny and fished the GoPro out of the water.

After drying it out, Hansen and his uncle looked through the footage to see if they could identify the owners and track them down to return the camera. The camera was valuable, Hansen said, and he felt responsible for doing what he could to reunite it with its owners.

Odds weren’t good because the Dumais family was just visiting the valley and because who would think to record their contact information?

After about two hours going through photos and videos, their detective work yielded more than a clue: the GoPro footage included a name.

When Adam Pickett, Fiona’s husband, had started working at Panorama Mountain Resort, he had documented a welcome card that came in an envelope that bore his first and last name.

From there, the search was easy. Hansen’s family found the Picketts on Facebook and offered to return their GoPro, which seemed as good as new except for a bit of moisture under the screen.

“It sounds like it was just awesome for the 11 year old. He loved the little adventure of finding it and then trying to track down who owned it,” Fiona said.

Instead of taking their GoPro back, the Picketts invited Hansen to keep it to record his future adventures. The memory card was all they wanted, having replaced the missing camera long ago.

“We don’t need it, and it sounded like he was just so happy. It’s pretty neat that he was going to give it back to us,” Fiona said.

Hansen said he was pretty excited to find the device and more excited to get to keep it because he “did the right thing.”

“It will be fun to see what’s on it,” Fiona said. “We have no idea what’s on there.”

She was stoked when the card full of their memories arrived. It included footage of the couple settling in at Panorama, practicing their wedding dance in their condo and paddling with Wings over the Rockies.

“It’s awesome to have these videos back,” Fiona said. “We love using clips to make videos to keep as memories and now we’ve got some embarrassing footage of us dancing to add!”

Stock photo by David Henrichs, Unsplash

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