Treasure hunter finds GoPro containing final moments of man who drowned in 2017

Posted at 1:04 PM, Aug 20, 2019

A recent find in the waters near a Tennessee waterfall won’t bring back Richard Ragland, who drowned there two years ago, but it may answer a few questions and bring his family some closure.

YouTuber Rich Aloha, who hunts for treasure as a hobby, tells WSB that he was recently diving near Foster Falls in South Cumberland State Park, where Ragland had died right before his 23rd birthday in 2017 while swimming with friends, when he spotted “the end tip of [a] thumb screw.”

It was part of a GoPro camera that Ragland had been using to capture video when he died, and Aloha figured out almost immediately it was probably Ragland’s, as park rangers had mentioned the death of the young man from Sandy Springs, Ga., to him. “I strongly believe that God led me to this GoPro,” Aloha says.

When he checked out the footage on the still-intact SD card, his thoughts were confirmed. “I said, ‘Oh, my God, this is the guy,'” he notes.

His next mission: to find Ragland’s family and return the SD card to them—which he did after some detective work on Google. Ragland’s family is grateful to now have a glimpse into his final moments, especially since his death had come as such a shock: Gizmodo notes he was a National Guard soldier who knew how to swim well.

Ragland’s mom, Robin McCrear, says they’ve since watched most of the clips on the card, which show her son having a good time on his trip. They haven’t yet worked up to the final video taken before his death, though they hope it will offer some answers.

“We miss him dearly with all of our hearts,” McCrear tells WSB, adding that it “means the world to us” that Aloha went to the trouble to get the SD card back to them. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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