Last January, torrential rain spiked almost all the Southeastern rivers, and North Carolina kayaker Pat Keller took that opportunity to grab the prized first descent of 100-foot Ozone Falls, on Fall Creek in the Cumberland Plateau.
While Keller cleared the shallow landing, his GoPro camera did not fare so well, snapping off and sinking to the bottom of the pool. There it sat for eight months, until, amazingly, Keller was able to go back and find it. “That waterfall was one of the gnarliest drops I have ever witnessed,” says Chris Gragtmans, who was with Keller at Ozone. “You can see on the video how low volume the river is, and when you combine little water with a 100-foot free fall, you end up with a truly horrific impact. The pool of that waterfall was probably only 10 feet deep as well!”
In what could only be described as the best commercial ever for the adventure sports camera company, the GoPro still works, its card intact with the final moments of Keller paddling over the lip—and then another 34 minutes of green watery darkness.