Doing the right thing with an Apple watch found in Lake Austin

Brandon Stelling, incoming senior up at Vandegrift, lost his Apple watch and Briland Young, incoming Canyon Ridge 6th grader, found it more than three weeks later at the bottom of Lake Austin.

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

While boating about a month ago, Briland Young was diving with his mask and discovered an algae-covered Apple watch at the bottom of Lake Austin, about 12 feet below the surface.

Although it looked old at first, they discovered it was a newer model that was water submersible. 

Briland, 11, brought the Apple watch home and cleaned it up. After fully charging it overnight, he came to realize that the watch was fully functional. 

The incoming Canyon Ridge Middle School sixth grader was now the proud owner of a waterproof Apple watch. 

After some investigating, he was able to access the info on the watch. Even though he couldn’t find the phone number of the watch, he was able to trace who it belonged to through a photo.

“He saw a photo on the watch and showed it to his sister. His sister, Carter, recognized a girl in the photo from a Christian camp she attends. They both found her on Instagram and saw that she has a boyfriend named Brandon,” Brad said.

“Briland really wasn’t super excited that there now was a remote possibility he could be in jeopardy of losing his newly found treasure,” Brad added.

Insert parental teaching moment. Brad and his wife were given the challenge/opportunity to share that honesty is always the best policy and to do the right thing, no matter how hard it may be.

“(We) decided to let him think about how he would feel if he lost something that he truly loved and then some stranger weeks later not only found it, but made an attempt to return it,” Brad said. 

The final decision was up to Briland and to his parents pleasant surprise, he told them he really wanted to keep it for himself but he knew what he needed to do. His decision was to contact Brando and try to return his watch which he lost over three weeks prior.

Over Instagram, the two arranged to meet the next day on July 9, and the story has an inspiring twist. 

Brandon Stelling, incoming senior up at Vandegrift, came over early that morning to thank Briland for his honesty. Brandon also let him know how cool it was that an 11-year-old went out of his way to find him, Brad said. 

“He then told my son that he wanted to do something special for him as a reward for doing the right thing,” Brad said. “Brandon paused and then handed Briland the watch back and said ‘It’s yours to keep.’”

Briland was speechless.

“This story is so inspirational in that both boys show unbelievable integrity,” Brad said. “It’s great to see two young boys demonstrating such a giving and kind spirit.”

Briland and Brandon are now friends on Instagram.