Divers find, return prosthetic leg to man who lost it in river

News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Divers searching a river in California’s Sacramento County recently recovered a prosthetic leg and returned it to its grateful owner this week.

Mark Spruitenburg and Karl Bly often dive in the American River in search of lost items, with the intention of reuniting those items with their rightful owners. The two are also part of an unofficial “Lost and Found” service on Facebook, where users can post details of the items they lost in the river, just in case they come across the items during a dive.

“I had a list of items that people had reported that were missing, and one of these items was a prosthetic leg,” Bly said.

During a recent dive on Wednesday, Spruitenburg spotted the leg — and the bright red Nike attached to it — about 10 or 12 feet below the surface. “I brought it up, we were pretty excited, we celebrated for sure.”

Turns out the leg belonged to John Hovis, who lost in some particularly rough rapids on the river.

“I’ve been down this river, I don’t know how many times,” Hovis said. “All of a sudden, it pulled this way… I knew I was hitting the rapids right there, but I didn’t know it was going to shoot me up out of the water.”

Spruitenburg and Bly were soon able to reunite Hovis with his prosthetic, much to Hovis’ shock. “I really can’t put a price on this leg,” he said.

The two divers, meanwhile, said they were happy to do it.

“I enjoy getting stuff back to people. I enjoy finding treasures, valuables … and I really enjoying reuniting [these] things with people,” Spruitenburg said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories