GoPro lost in the Atlantic Ocean returned to Michigan teen

Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 11:06 AM EDT
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BLISSFIELD, Mich. (WTVG) - A boy who lost his camera in the ocean while on vacation thought he would never see it again, until the kindness of strangers proved otherwise.

“I have been taking it everywhere and taking a bunch of videos and stuff,” said Caleb Sandy.

The 13-year-old worked all summer to save up enough money to buy the $400 GoPro camera.

“I saved up my mowing money for a few months,” said Sandy. “I did some jobs at my grandma and grandpa’s house.”

Sandy says he used the GoPro to make videos and post them to his YouTube Channel called Mitten Minute. When his family went on vacation in September to the Outer Banks, it was no surprise that his GoPro went along for the ride.

“I attached it to my head strap when I was boogie boarding,” said Sandy. “I got a big wave and I flipped over and the waves took it out, and we were looking for it for a little while and couldn’t find it.”

“Everyone kind of jumped in and tried to find it right away,” said Tom Sandy, Caleb’s father. “Shortly thereafter we realized it was gone.”

Sandy thought his GoPro was lost in the Atlantic Ocean, along with all of the memories captured in photos and videos. That was until three weeks later when Caleb and his family got a phone call from a man in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“We were looking for shells because the hurricane passed us, and that’s a good time to go out and look for shells,” said Bruce Toy.

Toy was walking the beach when he found Caleb’s GoPro tangled in seaweed and shells on the beach, 14 miles away from where Caleb and his family were staying.

“I had to scrape some sand out of it to get the hatch door to open the battery compartment so I could get the SD card out,” said Toy. “I found a JPEG with a phone number on it, so I called the number.”

Sandy says he took a picture of his mom’s phone number and saved it on his GoPro in case he ever lost it.

“I was shocked, I didn’t believe it would happen,” said Sandy. “I am glad that he found it and not someone else that might have wanted to keep it and not give it back.”

The camera lens is scratched and dented, but Sandy says all the pictures and videos are still there, including a 27-minute video of the GoPro tumbling through the ocean.

“We were just grateful,” said Tom, after Toy mailed the GoPro. “To him, it was probably just a camera on the ground on the beach, but to my son, it was a lot of hard work and a lot of memories on that camera.”

“I just hope someone would do the same for me,” said Toy.

Sandy says he has since purchased a floatation device for his GoPro camera, so a similar incident doesn’t happen again.

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