The missing tourist whose selfies were posted online by police after his paddleboard was found floating in Lake Tahoe was found alive and well in Missouri on Tuesday.
Polish tourist Zbigniew “Zibi” Moryn walked into a Missouri police station and told officers he was OK after discovering rescuers had been searching for him for almost a week.
Zibi was paddleboarding along the shore in Lake Tahoe August 11 and trying to take a selfie when a speedboat knocked him off his board and into the water.
Seeing his board float away, Zibi Moryn turned and swam for shore, climbed out of the lake, turned in his paddle, and continued on with his American vacation.
Meanwhile, a boater found Moryn’s board, along with his GoPro camera, selfie stick, and life jacket floating on the lake a half-mile from the marina and started to panic.
Police contacted the paddleboard rental company who said a customer with a thick accent paid cash to rent the board for an hour and that was all they knew.
In an effort to find the missing paddleboarder, police wound up posting Moryn’s selfies online on various websites and around social media. The selfies showed Zibi at various locations around Tahoe, but they also showed him in Italy, Dubai, and the United Arab Emirates.
Eventually, police received a call from an Arizona man telling them Moryn was alive and doing just fine in his visit to Missouri.
“Moryn explained that, while on the rented paddleboard on Lake Tahoe, a personal watercraft had ridden close enough to him to cause a significant wake. This wake, combined with strong winds blowing across the water at the time, caused Moryn to fall off of the board into the cold water. He abandoned the board to Lake Tahoe and returned the oar to the business where he rented the board with no further explanation. Shortly afterward, Moryn left the Tahoe area to continue his travels.”
If Moryn had been wearing his life jacket at the time of the incident, he probably would have been able to retrieve his board along with his GoPro and selfie stick.
Missing selfie-snapping tourist didn't know he was missing http://t.co/GcJBaQPZrc— mySA (@mySA) August 19, 2015
Moryn’s story had a happy ending, but not every selfie-taking tourist lives to fight another day. In 2014, Polish tourist Sylwia Rajchel died because she fell off a Spanish bridge while taking a selfie.
Then in April, Disneyland banned selfie sticks from the park in an effort to ensure visitor safety. The sticks became a hazard after guests tried to use them on moving rides and wound up endangering their fellow passengers.
Police said they’re going to mail Moryn’s camera back to him.
[Photo: posted to Twitter]