MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - While body surfing, a GoPro was lost in July 2018. The family never found it before the left their vacation in the Grand Strand and headed home.
They thought it was forever lost in the waters of Huntington Beach State Park. However, fate had a different plan. On Dec. 23, 2018, Michael Tustian was walking the jetty of Huntington Beach State Park when he saw a jumble of seaweed.
He picked it up and inside, to his surprise, he found a GoPro enclosed in a waterproof case.
Tustian took it home, washed it off and took it apart. To his surprise, the GoPro camera was undamaged, despite being in the ocean for about six months.
Tustian said he wasn’t familiar with GoPros so he enlisted the help of his friends at Surfside Beach Library.
The team called the GoPro help desk to learn how to find out what the camera held, hoping to find an owner. Tustian said GoPro emailed him 36 pages of instructions to get the camera to turn on.
It worked out. Pictures and videos of a family vacationing in the Grand Strand appeared. The family was fishing, enjoying the beach and body surfing.
Then, there were a bunch of videos of the camera tumbling on the ocean floor, the current turning the camera recording on and off until the battery went out.
However, Tustian found one photograph of a child in an orange soccer uniform with a sponsor’s name on it. It was a doctor’s office in New York. Tustian said with the help of the women at the library, he contacted the office. It was a Dr. Kevin Trapp.
It just so happens Dr. Trapp knew the family, even being the knee doctor for the man’s mother who lost the camera.
Dr. Trapp put Tustian in touch with the family. The man’s mother lives in Horry County and met up with him to get the GoPro Friday.
The family never thought they’d see the camera again but said they’re related a good Samaritan would take the time to find it and return it to them.
Terry Connaughton met up with Tustian at the Surfside Beach library to get the camera, learn how to work it and thank Tustian for his act of kindness.
Tustian said you can’t replace the memories of a family vacation, and the camera wasn’t his to keep. Connaughton said her son plans to meet up with Tustian next time he’s in the Grand Strand for a big ‘thank you.’
Ironically, Connaughton said her other son lost his wedding ring that same July 2018 day at the beach.
However, that has yet to be found!