13-Y.O. Finds And Returns Surfer’s $3K Prosthetic Leg Weeks After He Lost It In A Gnarly Wave


A 13-year-old boy treasure hunting with his dad located something they knew its owner would be looking for: a prosthetic leg.

via Instagram/ @a_swellpirate

The Panama City News Herald reports surfer Carter Hess lost his $3,000 titanium prosthetic leg after he was hit by a wave in Florida’s St. Andrew’s Bay back in April.

“I knew immediately it was off of me,” Hess said. “I’ve surfed in much bigger waves and it never came off like that.” Hess had looked for his leg, but the water was murky and it was nowhere to be found.

via Instagram/ @a_swellpirate

Nearly a month later, Sebastian Morris and his dad, Bobby, found the leg buried near the jetties just thirty feet from where Hess had been surfing.

Father and son took the prosthetic into their care and immediately launched an online campaign to find its owner.

Hess had given up hope that he’d find the leg, but then a friend tagged him in a story about Sebastian’s find from The Panama City News Herald.

Hess’s friends love to tease him about his artificial leg by sending him stories about found prosthetics. “I surf a lot and so every time a leg is found, they get a kick out of it,” Hess said.

Only, this time— it was his leg that’d been found. Hess was reunited with his leg on Tuesday after meeting with Sebastian and his mother. He thanked the family on Instagram.

“I’ve been very upfront that this is an amazing, great young man. A lot of guys, especially treasure hunters, would have just put it in a trophy case— but he realized it could be important and someone could need it,” Hess said of Sebastian.

According to USA TodayHess’s left leg was amputated in 2012 after he stepped on an improvised explosive device while serving in the military in Afghanistan.

His prosthetic was specifically designed to be used for surfing, and Hess plans to get back out on the waves as soon as the weather allows. He also plans to take his new friend Sebastian scuba diving in the future.

Written by Susan LaMarca
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