A GoPro found on the beach at Kettle Cove State Park with this image on it was returned to its owner after Twitter detectives jumped on the case.

I stumbled upon a mystery on Wednesday at Kettle Cove State Park in Cape Elizabeth: A GoPro lying on the beach like treasure buried in wet sand. I plucked it from the muck, and, to my surprise, it still worked. It even had 83 percent of its battery life left.

As a photographer, I know the fear of losing precious gear, particularly a GoPro, which is often used in precarious situations in and around water. I wanted to get this device back to its owner but knew it wouldn’t be as simple as placing it on a nearby signpost like a forgotten mitten. A thief would be more likely to see it before an owner retracing their steps.

As luck would have it, I already had all the resources to begin piecing this mystery together. In my car was a laptop, a card reader and a mobile hotspot.

I popped the miniSD card out of the GoPro and into my laptop to retrieve any images.

And there she was, a young woman dressed in a dry suit, partially submerged in seawater, still holding the device.

I was 100 percent certain that if I tweeted the photo with a punchy caption, the Maine Twitterverse would do its thing.

Sure enough, about four hours, 200 likes and 120 retweets later, the owner was found.

In the meantime, the tweet continues to generate likes and retweets, going viral in a way none of my previous tweets have ever done in the past.


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