Imagine this: you are scuba diving in a wharf, find a rusty looking photo camera, and discover that you actually can recover the images. Better still: you are able to track down the owner and reunite him with his digital camera and the photos he thought were lost.
This happened to Markus Thompson who went diving to complete a biological survey in Deep Bay, near Vancouver in British Columbia. The Canon EOS 1000D camera he found, is worth almost $1000 when in new condition, but of course the images on it were priceless to the owner. The camera had been on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean for 440 days, sitting in the salty mud, and had stopped working.
Posting online However, Thompson managed to retrieve the SD card and found about 50 shots of a family vacation. He thought of an effective way to find the owner: posting it on the social networking sites. From what he had seen on the photos, he knew a few facts about the owners. The diver posted this with some of the photos: “found off the end of a wharf in Deep Bay [..] approximately 50 pictures on the card from a family vacation. If you know a fire fighter from British Columbia whose team won the Pacific Regional Firefit competition, has a lovely wife and (now) 2 year old daughter - let me know. I would love to get them their vacation photos :)”
Hunt for the owner Posting on Facebook did only get one ‘Like’ and not much response, but various people who use Google+ compared the pictures of the firefighting competition to faces on websites that covered the event. Within days they tracked hime down. Thompson contacted the fire station where the man works and finally returned the camera to its owner. Shannon Wood, the wife of the photographer, couldn't believe her luck: "We never would have thought that over a year later the camera would resurface and that someone would go to the effort to try and retrieve the images and then further that effort by trying to track us down using the internet. Our hats go off to you Markus and all those who helped him you have reunited us with with treasured memories and a story we will have forever!!!"
Thompson wrote on Google+: “ I certainly didn't anticipate the attention this created, any photographer finding my camera would do the same, right? Thanks again for the great help that came from all of you - the Google+ community.”
New disc and camera At the end of last week Markus got messages from Canon Canada and SanDisk, who offered to replace the owner’s severely weathered camera and provide both the owner and Markus with new SD cards - free of charge. So you see: being kind to other still pays off!
Tell us your story! Have you ever found something valuable on the bottom of the ocean? Tell us about it!