A couple who lost their camera at the bottom of a gorge near Ullapool are set to be reunited with it almost five years later thanks to a local adventurer.
Euan Bryan and Kirsty McIntrye from Paisley were on an NC500 road trip with their friends in October 2015 when their GoPro camera fell into the Corrieshalloch Gorge, south of Ullapool.
Left with no chance of scaling down the gorge to retrieve it, the couple continued their holiday knowing that the photographs they had taken of their trip, as well as those taken on a visit to Glencoe earlier that year, would likely be lost forever.
Fast forward four years and 10 months to Sunday 19th July 2020 and local outdoor leader Will Copestake is overseeing a canyoneering trip at the gorge.
“We quite often find stuff down there – there’s lots of Victorian shillings and ha’pennies, and normally a few pairs of sunglasses where people have looked down and their sunglasses have fallen off their heads,” said Will who is the owner and founder of kayaksummerisles.com.
“This time I found a pair of sunglasses, eight pence, a Samsung phone – which was a little worse for wear, and a GoPro.
“And to my surprise the memory card still worked.”
Will said he looked at the memory card as he figured that most people use GoPros for action shots or selfies.
“I thought if there was a selfie I might be able to use social media to find the person. I lost a very valuable compass many years ago which was my granddad’s and I put out a personal plea on social media and amazingly I got that back, so I figured you never know!”
Will shared a post including a picture of the couple with the Ullapool Community Page on Facebook, and after a short while, a family friend of Euan’s contacted him to say she thought she had seen a photo of him online.
“I had a message from a woman I’m friends with on Facebook who knows my mum, she sent me a screenshot and said I think this might be you, ” Euan told the Free Press.
“I thought, ‘oh my god, I can’t believe it!’
“I couldn’t comment on the post so I searched for Will on Facebook and said ‘I think you’ve found my camera!”
Reflecting on the day he lost the camera, Euan said: “I thought I had the camera clipped into a headpiece, but I forgot to put the pin in, and then my friend was taking a picture and told us to put our hands up and then the camera just fell right over the side of the bridge, down into the gorge.
“We were looking about to find ways down to get it but it is so steep there, so the camera was gone.
“It wasn’t even that old, I’d got the camera at Christmas time. Me and my fiancé had gone on a trip to Glencoe in April, then we went on the trip along the NC500 in October and I lost it then.”
He added: “I had been to the pub on Saturday night and on Sunday I saw all these messages flashing up on my phone, and I thought, ‘oh, no, what did I do last night?’
“But when I found out it was about the camera it turned out to be a really interesting Sunday!
Euan said Will is going to to send him both the camera and the SD card.
“I think the camera is busted up but the SD card is fine despite laying there for about five years.
“I couldn’t believe it – when I dropped the camera somewhere so remote and there was no way down to get it I thought I’d never see it again.”