When he dropped his phone into a Calgary river, Nathan Buhler assumed it was gone forever.
Buhler had been rafting on the Bow River with a few friends and playing some music on a wireless speaker. He was pouring ice out of his cool box when his Samsung Galaxy phone slipped out of a pocket and into the depths below.
"I only realized I'd dropped it when the music stopped,'" Buhler says. "I didn't even bother looking for it. Even if I found it, it wouldn't work."
The phone had contained photos of Buhler's new house being built, showing its construction over time. It had just been finished.
A few weeks later a firefighter was paddle-boarding across the river on his way to the night shift when he saw the phone in the water. He dove in about four feet and rescued the phone, Buhler says. The firefighter then heated the device for almost a day and a half.
When the phone turned on, the firefighter dropped it off where he worked, Downtown Station 1, where the crew attempted to contact Buhler.
"Unable to contact the owner by phone, the crew decided to use the unlocked phone's Facebook account," the Calgary Fire Department wrote in a statement.
"They hoped that by posting on Nathan Buhler's ... Facebook page, his friends and family would let him know that his phone had been found and that he could pick it [up] at Station 1."
"Nathan this is your Samsung speaking. The fireman have been so nice to me they're showing me around the hall and even gave me a nickname (Hector Sanchez)," the station commented.
Firefighters proceeded to take the phone on an adventure, letting Hector travel with them throughout the day.
Hector rode in the truck.
He helped make lunch.
Hector won a game of Ping Pong,
Before heading to the gym for a quick workout.
Eventually, Hector was reunited with his owner.
"I walked in and it was empty so I said 'Hello, I'm looking for Hector Sanchez,'" Buhler recalls. The firefighters then dropped down from poles and popped out behind the fire trucks, laughing, with the phone in hand.
"Huge thanks to Calgary fire department for saving not just lives!" He wrote on Facebook hours later.
Buhler says he would have rather not lost his phone, but "the silver lining is at least it's a funny story and people enjoyed it."