SAN ANTONIO – A popular diver on YouTube was welcomed back to San Antonio to dredge “treasures” from the San Antonio River legally after getting stopped by police for attempting it last year.
Brandon Jordan is an outdoorsman who has attracted a YouTube following with nearly 3 million subscribers. He’s known for videos where he dives into rivers and other waterways to find lost valuables. When he can, he tries to unite the items with their owners and he also cleans up any trash he finds during the process.
Last October, Jordan attempted to dive along the River Walk but was stopped by San Antonio police for violating a city ordinance: Swimming in San Antonio River, a misdemeanor that can be punished by a fine of up to $500. Jordan was only given a warning but was told he’d need permission to film and to be granted a special request to dive along the River Walk.
“I think the difficulty came into play because this was such a unique and special request. It’s not every day you have someone wanting to get into a prohibited body of water to do a good deed, let alone film it and put it on the internet,” Jordan said.
He got the permission he needed from the Department of Arts & Culture’s Film Division and from the Center City Development Office, a city official told KSAT.
“A permit and safety protocols were required, including making sure we filmed at a time when other river boats were not running in the area I was diving,” Jordan said.
His dives were so successful, he created two videos about his adventures.
In the first one, Jordan finds items including a Bird scooter, chairs, some phones, a rubber boot and mounds of beaded necklaces intertwined with river debris.
“I think the most surprising thing were the amount of beads that have been spun together creating huge mats. Of course, there are tons of little items which happens anywhere there are water and people. But the beads were probably the biggest unexpected component I ran into,” Jordan said.
In the second video, which Jordan said will be posted on Tuesday, he finds even more treasures.
“It’s a fun one where we dive in front of the Shops at River Center and even find a lost iPhone, as well as a few more surprises! This video also includes an interview with the team who manages the River Walk which was a cool opportunity to collab with the city,” Jordan said.
The YouTuber said during his two visits to San Antonio, he’s fallen in love with the River Walk area.
“It’s just such a unique place with restaurants and hotels and I hope to get invited back to see what it looks like when it’s getting cleaned out while drained!” Jordan said.
The city used to drain the river loop every year for cleaning and maintenance, but thanks to a project by the Public Works Department and Center City Development & Operations, city crews just drain portions, usually in January each year.
Watch Part 1 of Jordan’s San Antonio River dive below: