Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram

Shipwrecked camera found underwater after 2 years with photos intact

Ian Harvey

In a truly remarkable resolution to a lost-and-found story, a digital camera that was lost after a shipwreck in 2012 was found with the photographs intact last year near Vancouver Island.

In 2012, Paul Burgoyne had been on a journey from Vancouver to Tahsis in British Columbia on his nine-metre boat Bootlegger when it was wrecked. Burgoyne had been rescued, but the camera with several irreplaceable photographs were lost to the sea.

Two years later, Tella Osler and Beau Doherty discovered the camera at the depth of twelve metres near Aguilar Point in British Columbia. Osler and Doherty, students of the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, had been engaged in research dives along with Siobhan Gray, BMSC Diving and Safety Officer.

Isabelle M. Côté, Professor of Marine Ecology at Simon Fraser University, found the 8 GB memory card of the Lexar Platinum II camera still in working condition. According to her, several different species of marine life were living on the camera when it was first discovered. Côté posted a family photograph from the camera to Twitter hoping to find its owner.

The photograph caught the attention of a member of the Bamfield coast guard station who had rescued Burgoyne two years ago. He recognised Burgoyne in the photo, thus helping the Vancouver artist to reunite with his pictures. (The Huffington Post)

Burgoyne shared that “That just shocked me. Getting the camera, or the photos back, that’s really quite wonderful… I have a new respect for, you know, these electronics. You throw most of it away every two years, but that little card is an amazing bit of technology.”

Discovery of the camera reminded Burgoyne of the fateful day of the shipwreck. “Right away I thought about that bliss that I felt 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?’ I thought I had the boat on auto pilot but clearly I had made a mistake. The next thing all hell was breaking loose.”

Burgoyne’s nine-metre trawler was wrecked less than an hour after the last photos were taken, and his camera was lost at sea with some irreplaceable images on the card. The pictures include a family gathering to scatter his parents’ ashes at Lake of the Woods in Ontario.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News