Camera Lost at Sea Returned with the Help of Social Networking

Photos from the waterlogged memory card helped identify owner
Just how tough is your average DSLR memory card? Apparently tough enough to survive a year at the bottom of the ocean. Naturalist and aspiring photographer Markus Thompson was scuba diving in Deep Bay near Vancouver, British Columbia, when he found a Canon EOS 1000D. Curious, he brought it to the surface and took ut the SD card, and was actually able to recover about 50 photos.

With a bounty of pictures and a desire to find the camera's owner, Thompson took to social networking for help. He posted his find to Google+, including pictures of the camera itself as well as the photos he was able to recover from the SD card. "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," he posted.

The social network's hive mind then went to work. Details on just who the camera belonged to were slim at first, but after social network sleuths began scouring the photos, more information began to surface. The camera contained images that were shot at a region firefighting competition, and appeared to suggest that the camera's owner was on the winning team. After comparing faces to those on various websites that covered the event, the possibilities were narrowed down.

The owner, a firefighter from British Columbia, was finally identified. His station was then contacted, bringing an end to the pricey camera's unlikely journey. The waterlogged Canon - which can cost upwards of $500 in new condition - made its splash in August of 2010, and had been soaking ever since. Unfortunately, not further details are available on just how the device managed to find a home on the ocean floor, but we imagine a bump off the side of a leisure boat is a likely explanation.

We've seen the power of social media to spread information about important events and natural disasters, and it's nice to see it work on a much smaller and more personal scale. And while obviously the camera is a total loss, the family was able to secure their vacation photos, not to mention a story they'll be able to share for a lifetime.
This is what a camera looks like after a year in the ocean

The camera is a total loss, but the memory card fired right up.

[Image credit: Markus Thompson]

Markus Thompson via Canon Rumors

This article was written by Katherine Gray and originally appeared on Tecca

More from Tecca: