Young boy tracks down owner of lost GoPro, returns it

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Kirk Sowers, an ABC-13 employee, has captured many once-in-a-lifetime moments using his GoPro camera.

"I had photos and video at The Great Wall of China. On my trip to Southeast Asia, I went to see my little brother stationed USS Bonhomme Richard. I was one of the first people on the boat. I hadn't seen him in months," Sowers said.

But the photos and videos of all those memories were gone in an instant.

"I was filming a tanker surfing competition with my drone, when I lost the signal and my drone ended up crashing into the ocean,"
Sowers explained.

He thought his GoPro camera, which had been attached to the drone that crashed in the Gulf, was long gone.

"I thought I'd never get it back."

But in a fortunate twist of fate, the camera was hooked by a young fisherman.

"First we caught an octopus, then we caught a sea turtle, and then we ended up catching the GoPro," Cameron Stevens, 16, told Eyewitness News.

Weeks after Sowers lost his camera Stevens and his father were fishing for bait fish in Texas City. Out of pure curiosity, Stevens took the camera home, and amazingly, the memory card was still dry after being submerged in salt water.

"I wanted to see how other people used their GoPro. I thought maybe there is something interesting on here." Stevens said.

The footage struck a chord with the young teenager.

"I saw the video of him (Sowers) on the battleship. I thought about how hard it is leaving your family overseas," Stevens recalled.

Stevens knows first-hand the emotional toll having a loved one in the military can have on families. His own father was also in the U.S.
Navy, deployed overseas for many years.

"It's hard not having them around. I knew this camera was important. I knew I had to get it back to whoever owned it." Stevens said.

Stevens posted the images online and contacted local media outlets in Houston. A few weeks later, a friend of Sowers mentioned that she'd seen his photos and video online.

"She told me, 'Someone is trying to find you.' She showed me the footage and I couldn't believe it," Sowers said.

"It gave me more drive to give the camera back. I'd want someone to do that for me," Stevens said.

Sowers reached out to Stevens and made arrangements to get his camera back.

Upon seeing the once-lost photos and video, Sowers said, "It's just amazing. It's like being re-gifted the experience all over again. I'm so grateful for what he did."

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