Ethan Dack, of New South Wales, had been using the action cam to record a trip across Australia with his wife and four children, finishing with an extended family visit in Point Vernon, a small peninsula on the east coast of Queensland. While kayaking, he jumped in the water to record some turtles, about a third of a mile offshore. But his GoPro slipped off a simple neck strap made from string.
Dack searched for the camera every day for almost a week before giving up on his search. “I just accepted those memories were lost forever,” he told a local newspaper. “All I could do was try to replace some of them, so I took photos of the kids with my granddad.”
Then, two days before he was scheduled to leave, his aunt found the camera on the beach.
By then the camera had been in saltwater for two months, but the images on the card were still intact. While the GoPro tech specs don’t list how durable the camera is other than a depth rating, the brand has had several unusual survival videos, including a fall off a skydiver’s helmet without a case. One YouTuber even reports finding intact video from a camera that was lost underwater for two years – though the GoPro didn’t work anymore.
The GoPro’s waterproof casing is rated to dive as deep as 197 feet, but the manufacturer doesn’t suggest a time limit to the submersion. Apparently, it’s at least two months — but we wouldn’t recommend trying it at home (or relying on a simple piece of string to keep a camera from floating away).