GoPros robust design has the small camera at the forefront of many odd tech survival stories, from finding a lost GoPro with footage from the stratosphere to keep pictures of a first kiss intact after a year lost at sea. But the Iraqi journalist Ammar Alwaely is happy that the camera is designed to be tough for a completely different reason took a bullet for him.
Alwaely was in Mosul travel through the western part of the city onMay 13 coverage of the Iraqi troops’ attempts to recover the city from ISIS. That is when a sniper shot hit the GoPro he wore around his neck.
Note: this video footage contains profanity that some viewers may find offensive, and is definitely not safe for work:
The GoPro did not survive, but witnesses of the event and the images of the incident recorded by fellow journalist Owen Holdaway — had said that the camera not been there, Alwaely would have survived.
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I knew immediately, if it had not hit the camera, or [had] a few centimeters to the right, it would have hit his heart, and [are] fatal, Holdaway told The Sun.
The action camera was blown to pieces from the image, including a few pieces cut Alwaelys face. The camera was an older model that still is used in extra housing, in contrast to the housing-free GoPro Hero 5 launched last year.
Holdaway had the older GoPro to Alwaely just a few days before the incident occurred. Later, when the pair were at a medical center to tend to Alwaelys cuts, he probably had what anyone in his situation would do — asked for a different camera.
According to Reporters Without Borders, 74 journalists were killed while working in 2016, with seven of those deaths in Iraq. Of Tuesday, the area held by ISIS was already reduced to 129 square miles, with the Iraqi forces to take back about 75 percent of the Mosuls west side, Fox News reported.