When you lose something and don’t see it again for a year, that usually means it’s gone forever. That’s certainly what Minnesota dad Kyle Puelston thought.
His GoPro camera, full of his home videos and priceless family memories, vanished at the bottom of Temperance River after a tandem cliff jump knocked it off his head.
He swam around for half an hour trying to find it in the murky water, but eventually had to admit defeat.
One year later, two brothers snorkeling along the riverbed made a remarkable discovery.
Somehow, the GoPro’s waterproof case had managed to keep it preserved through the winter ice and spring thaw. Chris Flores, whose brother first pulled the camera out of the water, ended up taking it home.
Flores expected the camera to be empty, or its contents gone after a year under the water. He brought it home, checked the memory card, and what he saw moved him in a way he didn’t see coming.
All of Puelston’s family home videos were still there – everything from adorable moments with his kids to the final cliff dive that knocked the camera loose. Flores was stunned.
As a father himself, the short clips he saw moved him. He instantly knew in his heart that he had to find out who the camera belonged to, and return these memories to their rightful owner.
Flores ran through the video again to see if he could find any clues about their origin. He noticed one video where Puelston was running through SWAT training, and realized he had to be in the police force.
After freezing the video to find another clue – Puelston’s Chisago County Sheriff’s Department patch – Flores had enough information to track down the family in the videos.
“It’s all so fleeting, we’re not guaranteed tomorrow,” Flores said. There was one special reason why the videos touched him the way they did.
Chris nearly lost his own daughter, Morel, to a heart attack earlier that year. She was saved during heart surgery, but the experience made Flores aware of just how important it is to treasure the moments we have with our family.
After finding out his videos had survived, Puelston was thrilled. He told Flores to keep the camera, since he’d already picked up a new one.
Now, both families can make videos they can treasure as their children grow up. Watch the video below to see the story unfold for yourself: