Meet the Good-Samaritan Kayaker Who Returns Lost Items on the American River

Karl Bly returning lost items on the American River. Photo: American River Lost & Found

Karl Bly has been diving and looking for items in the water since he was a kid. Now at 52, equipped with his kayak and snorkel gear on the American River, he has become well-known for returning lost items sitting on the bottom of the river.

After finding hundreds of items while snorkeling on the River, Bly created the American River Lost & Found Facebook Page, which relies on social shares to help return keys, cell phones and wallets to the unlucky rafters who lost them on the river.

“I started this page to give people a place to turn to if they have lost something in the river,” Bly wrote on the page. “If you had a bad experience on the river then maybe with some luck we can make it a little bit better.”

Over 3,800 people currently follow the page and his posts sometime garner up to a thousand shares. Here’s how it works:

Bly will share photos of the things he finds at the bottom of the river.

Then, when an owner is located, he updates the page.

With Bly’s experience, he can take the danger away from people who don’t want to jump in after their lost items. Anybody with a lost item on the river can message the American River Lost & Found Facebook Page to see if Bly can find it. If you’ve found something on the river, you can also message it to Bly and see if he can locate the owner.

Bly is the definition of a good samaritan. He could keep and sell the items he finds, but he instead enjoys returning the items to their original owners. That being said, sometimes he finds the occasional treat he gets to keep.

“Always good to find the beer on the river, love finding the beers!” Bly said to CBS Sacramento.

It’s always a cause for concern to bring valuables on a rafting adventure on the American River, but with Karl Bly roaming the waters, you can put your mind at ease. Thanks for all you do, Karl!

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


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