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Divers Find an Old Camera, Then Saw The Pictures

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Losing something important like a camera, photo album, or a mobile phone can be devastating. In most cases, when this happens, people simply have to accept that their beloved objects are lost once and for all. However, once in a blue moon, miracles happen, and people can find the most unusual things, including their memories. This is one of those stories.

When conducting research, divers from a Canadian university discovered a long lost camera on a seafloor. From the looks of it, the camera spent decades covered in water. They took the camera to the lab and discovered something that left them speechless. Let’s dive in and find out what mysteries this old camera held hidden inside.

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25. Lost at Sea

When we think about items lost at sea, we usually picture treasure chests, gold medallions, and other precious treasures that can be quickly sold for an outstanding amount of money.

However, all sorts of lost items and wonders are left below the sea, waiting to be found and share their stories. This is precisely what this group of students learned—what started as a regular exploration in May 2014 ended to be the biggest surprise of their lives. Here is what they discovered that day.

24. Vancouver Waters

A couple of students at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (BMSC) dived down into the Vancouver waters for their scientific diving program. The group planned their research diving mission to take place along Vancouver Island off of Aguilar Point, British Columbia.

This was supposed to be another regular research mission. However, this simple task quickly turned out to be a treasure hunt adventure that they never saw coming.

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23. The Last Dive of Spring

Beau Doherty and Tella Osler were part of this group, and they couldn’t wait to have their last dive of the Spring semester. They happily dove down looking for starfish, swimming 40 feet beneath the surface.

They were the ones who supported the old camera on the ocean floor. It was unusual to see this everyday object rusted and just sitting there waiting to be found. They decided to pick it up and take to their professors, who were overseeing the research mission. The camera didn’t seem to function, but they still decided to take it to the lab. There is where they discovered how important this camera is.

22. A Unique Mix of Water and Technology

Technology and water usually don’t go hand in hand unless they are the latest mobile phone series that is waterproof. This specific camera was wholly corroded and covered with lots of animals growing on it.

Why was the team so excited about this camera? The camera itself wasn’t that interesting, but it was a marine gold mine because it was covered with all sorts of aquatic organisms. Professor Côté revealed to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) that they found seven different aquatic plant life living in and around the camera. But that’s not all that was hidden inside the camera.

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21. A Mini Aquatic World

It was fascinating to see how this small object was taken by nature. They found all sorts of different marine species, like sea cucumber, slow-growing algae, and even a couple of brittle stars. As they continued their investigation, they found something even more fascinating.

As they continued their investigation, they opened up the side of the camera, discovering a memory card. The card was covered in some black matter. Could this camera still be in function?

20. Two Secrets of the SD Card

The SD card found in the camera was a Lexar Platinum II 8 GB memory card, which meant that there were tons of content to be found if this card was in function.

Since it was an 8 GB card, it was apparent that the camera owner must’ve recently lost it – SD was initially released in 1999. Now, the team was hoping to see some photos so they can locate the owner. Here is what they have discovered.

19. Did the Memory Card Work?

Gray and the team carefully removed the SD card from the camera body and cleaned it carefully. The next step was to connect it with Grey’s computer to see if the card will work.

Surprisingly, the SD card connected and worked. The team couldn’t believe it. “It was full of photographs and a couple of videos, and we saw the very last thing that had been recorded was on July 30, 2012,” Côté shared with ABC News.

18. What Files Were on the Camera?

It was shocking that the camera didn’t work, but the SD card was in function. They estimated that the camera spent two years in the ocean waters, so it was shocking to learn that the card is active.

So, what to expect to see? Touristy photos? Documentation of the wild? Vancouver area? Côté revealed to ABC News that “there were lots of photos of groups of people, like a family reunion,” How interesting!

17. Finding the Camera’s Keeper

Grey and her team were going through the photos, although it wasn’t that comfortable for them – they felt as if they are invading someone’s privacy, but they knew that this is the only way to find the camera’s owner.

The first one was what looked like a family or group photo, and the second was the video file that was recorded on July 30, 2012—the most recent file captured. Here is what the video was about.

16. Camera’s Video

They were hoping for the video to tell them more about the camera’s owner. However, the video recorded the full moon over the serene Vancouver waters, recorded minutes before midnight.

Since the video couldn’t tell them more about the owner, they decided to focus on photos. Obviously, the camera was filled with all sorts of precious family photos, and the team was determined to find the owner.

15. Family Photos

With so many family photos on the camera, it was clear that it was a real treasure for someone. Gray and her team were struck with emotions, and they decided to team up and uncover the true camera’s keeper.

You know just how heartbreaking it can be when you lose something precious. The team knew this very well, and they knew that card wasn’t only an item but an emotional treasurer. Now, they had to make a plan on how to find the right owner.

14. Coming Up with a Game Plan

The professors came up with a game plan on what they need to do. They decided on what they were going to post and where to find the owner ASAP using both old school and modern-day methods.

After all, mixed methods can give the best results. So, professor Côté and professor Gray decided it would be best to divide and conquer. They split their tasks and started their mission.

13. The Quest

Professor Côté and professor Gray had their tasks to focus on. They were hoping to get more clues that would lead to more clues and eventually find the owner. Professor Côté utilized technology and focused on a quintessential 2014 approach.

She uploaded photos to her Twitter account. On the other hand, professor Gray took the more traditional route of finding the owner by posting group pictures around town and the community message board.

12. A Local Coast Guardsman

Over the next couple of days, the team was hoping to receive some response. They couldn’t wait to learn how this camera ended up in the ocean, and if this discovery and their efforts will be appreciated.

However, there was no luck on the first days or in the first week. Luckily, one week later, finally, someone who they didn’t expect approached them.

11. Coast Guard Steps In

One week later, a local Bamfield coast guard approached them with interesting information. He saw the photo on the community message board and recognized one face!

It turns out that the coast guard was working that very same area two years ago. Not only that, he was there, and he actually at the spot when the camera sunk to the water. Here is what he had to say about that day.

10. Making a Call to Paul

The research team was excited to learn more and thrilled that someone approached them with factual information. The local coast guard shared everything that he knew with Gray.

Together, they went on to check on some files from 2012 to see if they could find the man’s name. They were hoping to find the name that the coast guard provided. They were searching for Paul Burgoyne.

9. Finding Paul

Grey and the local guard had the luck to find the right information in no time. They got paul’s contact info and decided to contact him immediately. They couldn’t wait to see Paul’s reaction.

However, after many calls, Paul didn’t answer at the time. They left him a message and hoped to hear from him. A few hours later, he called Grey.

8. Returning the Call

Gray hoped to hear from Paul soon. They left him a simple and clear message, and there were no reasons for him not to return their call. Luckily, Paul returned the call, making everyone happy.

The camera actually belonged to him. “We were surprised, but really appreciate the people who went to that extent to find me and return our photos … That was very kind,” Paul shared with ABC News. How incredible! Now, Gray and her team wanted to know how the camera got to the ocean.

7. “He Was Thrilled”

Finding Paul was so important for Gray’s mission, and she couldn’t’ hide her happiness when she got the chance to talk with him. “He was thrilled. [Paul] says when he got off the phone with the Coast Guard, he and his wife were laughing a great deal and mentioned how lucky he was,” Gray told Vancouver Sun.

It’s fair to say that Paul was over the moon about the situation. Now, Paul could finally tell them how the camera ends up 40 feet below the water’s surface. Gray gathered her team, and Paul started his story.

6. Lost in Rough Waters

Gray and her team knew that photos and videos on the camera were a testimonial of a lovely family day. However, they had no idea why the family gathered that day.

What Paul shared with them forced the team to rethink life and better understand how much they affected Paul’s life with their discovery. Paul told them what family members gathered to spread Paul’s mother’s ashes, who had recently passed away.

5. Final Goodbye

On that day, when the camera was lost, Paul was on a 300-mile journey from Vancouver to his summer house in Tahsis. Then something unexpected happened.

He was sailing on his beautiful vessel, the “Boot Legger,” when a shipwreck occurred. “When the ocean went calm, and I was sitting at the back of the boat all by myself and thinking, you know, ‘What could be better than this?'” Paul confessed to CBC.

4. The Storm

It was discovered that the video of the moonlit, serene waters, was recorded shortly before all of this aquatic chaos commenced. This is a real example of how calmness always comes before the storm. Before he knew it, Paul was shipwrecked and had to go into survival mode ASAP.

Professor Côté explained to ABC News, “It turns out [Paul] was a little bit lost and in rough waters, and he thought his boat was on the pilot. But it wasn’t, and it hit rocks.” At the time, he had no option but to jump off his precious 30-foot vessel.

3. Jumping Ship

Paul couldn’t do much but jump off his boat and watch it sink. He had to swim to shore and climb rocks, where he could finally scream for help. Paul had to wait around six hours until someone came.

He was all alone, in the cold and dark night, without his beloved boat. Luckily, he wasn’t as alone as he initially believed. At the top of the cliff was located an inn, some people called the Coast Guard. That’s how the local guard man knew Paul.

2. A Happy Ending

Luckily for him that day, Paul was safely rescued without any harm or injuries. The next day, Paul decided to travel to where the shipwreck occurred, to see if he could collect any belonging that was floating around.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t find his camera with lovely family memories. At least that’s what he thought. He couldn’t’ know at the time that his camera would be found years later.

1. Reunion

Paul mentioned to ABC News, “I can’t believe it was the camera they found … I’d like to know the ending of the other hundreds of possessions at the bottom of the ocean.”

Gray and her team sent Paul his card and emailed him materially, but not before storing them on back-up, just in case. Some memories are forever!

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