Phone found in SC lake returned with family photos on Facebook

ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – When you’re out on Upstate lakes do you ever wonder what’s down below your feet?

On the water it’s hard to see what’s lurking on the bottom of Lake Hartwell. But Flat Rock Bowen volunteer firefighter JD Robinson gets a fish eyes view every few days.

“Tool boxes, ATMs, cash registers, fishing rods, I mean you name it, I’ve found it,” JD said. “It would be very hard without gear. It would be impossible.”

With a camera, he goes scuba diving deep at different docks throughout Anderson County.

“That way they can see what we see,” he added. “It is a whole different world.”

Tuesday, like he usually does, he found several lost and forgotten phones. There was one that stuck out, with the memory card still intact.

“The phones don’t really do us any good but we can’t just leave them,” he said. “We want to get them out of the water and if I find something to get it back to the owner, I will do it.”

And that’s exactly what he did. Once he pulled the phone out of the water, he took out the memory card and put it in his phone before he posted one of their photos on Facebook.”

From there the photo was shared and commented on. Through the power of social media, the owner was found within the day.

“I would have never found them without Facebook,” he said. “It would just be hard. It really probably wouldn’t be worth the try, you would lose more than win.”

The family in the photos thought their hundreds of photographs were lost to the depths of Lake Hartwell forever.

“Losing the pictures was a little sad,” said Carol Brown. She says she and her family were out on the lake a few weeks ago. Her husband’s phone was inside the arm handle of a folded up chair that dropped into the water. They went in to get both of them, but as they pulled the chair out, the phone was gone.

However, thanks to JD’s dedication, their memories are back from a watery grave. They met up at Green Pond boat dock, where the phone was dropped, to get it back.

“We were excited to get our phone back,” Brown explained. “We told them thank you several times actually. It is lucky we got it back.”

“They asked me if I owed anything,” JD recalled. “I said, no ma’am. I don’t want anything. I just wanted to get it back to you. It does me no good to keep somebody’s stuff. So if I can find the rightful owner, I’ll give it back to them.”

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