Kyle Puelston was cliff jumping into the Temperance River with his family while on vacation in August 2014 when the GoPro that was strapped around his head fell off and sunk to the bottom of the water.
"In my mind it wasn’t even worth looking for. I thought the river would carry it more downstream," Puelston told ABC News today.
Almost exactly a year later, snorkeler Chris Flores pulled the dry, fully functioning camera out of the river.
"My brother is the one that actually found it," Flores told ABC News. "We were going to split whatever we found fifty-fifty so we did that and that’s how I got the GoPro."
The brothers "didn't know initially" if it worked, Flores said, but once he got home and plugged the camera into his computer it turned on, displaying various files, including videos of SWAT training and Puelston's family.
It was the SWAT videos that helped Flores determine the owner of the GoPro, he added.
After pausing the video and zooming in on the sheriff's patch, Flores found out it was Puelston's and left a message with the Chisago County Sheriff's Department, where Puelston works.
"It was completely out of the blue," Puelston said of learning that Flores had his GoPro. "How on Earth could that have survived a year under water with all the changing temperatures?"