Photographer Unwittingly Films Own Drowning With GoPro Helmet Camera

Photographer filmed his own drowning on GoPro camera
Photographer and filmmaker Paul Rodriguez Jr. filmed his own drowning with his GoPro camera.

A photographer inadvertently filmed his own drowning in a glacial lake on his GoPro helmet camera — but authorities who recovered the recording device say his body is still missing.

According to The Associated Press, photographer and filmmaker Paul Rodriguez Jr. had a GoPro camera mounted on his helmet as he kayaked on Mendenhall Lake near Juneau, Alaska on July 11.

The GoPro footage showed that 43-year-old Rodriguez was filming when his kayak overturned and he went into the water.

“The recording continued showing that the kayak overturned due to a strong current coming from the glacier,” Alaska State Troopers spokesperson Tim DeSpain tells The Associated Press.

The circumstances of Paul Rodriguez Jr.’s death only came to light when an individual found a helmet with a GoPro attached to it on the lakeshore of Mendenhall Lake and turned the recording device into Alaska State Troopers.

Upon investigation, the helmet was identified as belonging to Rodriguez. An unattended kayak resembling one Rodriguez had shown in a social media post earlier that day was also discovered floating on the lake by Juneau police.

Rodriguez’s roommate reported him missing on July 11. His vehicle was also left in a parking area at the lake.

A Camera But No Body

As authorities put the pieces together, a search for Rodriguez commenced with police checking the lake and shoreline, and using a helicopter for an aerial search.

However, according to an Alaska State Troopers’ dispatch, authorities are yet to locate the body.

The Alaska State Troopers noted that Rodriguez was not wearing a buoyancy aid or protective clothing for glacial water sports.

They notified Rodriguez’s family that he had been declared dead based on the footage but said the search for his body is still ongoing.

“Teams will continue to search the lake to recover the body,” the force says.

Rodriguez was a keen adventurer who regularly posted pics from Mendenhall lake, including some with his GoPro-fitted helmet.

Rodriguez’s son, Jaden Rodriguez told The Associated Press that his father was a gifted photographer and a kindhearted person who enjoyed being outdoors.

Image credits: Header photo via Facebook/Juneau Police Department.