Чт. Май 30th, 2024

Note: we are republishing this story which originally made the news in May 2014.

In a remarkable tale of resilience and serendipity, a camera lost in a shipwreck off the west coast of Vancouver Island two years ago is set to be reunited with its owner, carrying its memory card and cherished images untouched.

Photo Credit: Isabelle M Cote/X

Photo Credit: Isabelle M Cote/X

The camera belonged to Vancouver artist Paul Burgoyne, who faced the devastating loss in 2012 when his boat, the Bootlegger, was shipwrecked during a 500-kilometer journey from Vancouver to his summer home in Tahsis, B.C. The camera, along with precious photos, sank with the vessel, leaving Burgoyne in disbelief.

“That just shocked me,” expressed Burgoyne. “Getting the camera or the photos back, that’s really quite wonderful.”

Fast forward two years to May when Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre university students Tella Osler and Beau Doherty, accompanied by BMSC Diving and Safety Officer Siobhan Gray, made a surprising discovery during research dives off Aguilar Point, B.C. They found Burgoyne’s camera resting 12 meters below the surface.

Professor Isabelle M. Côté, an expert in Marine Ecology at Simon Fraser University, revealed that the camera hosted various marine species when found, showcasing the resilience of life even in unexpected places.

The Lexar Platinum II, 8 GB memory card miraculously still operational, allowed Côté to post online a family portrait found among the photos, hoping to locate the owner.

Fortune smiled upon the recovery effort when a member of the Bamfield coast guard station, who had previously rescued Burgoyne during the shipwreck, recognized him in the photo. A heartening reunion between Burgoyne and his long-lost photos is now on the horizon.

“I have a new respect for, you know, these electronics,” Burgoyne remarked. “You discard most of it away every two years, but that little card is an amazing bit of technology.”

The news of the camera’s recovery brought a rush of memories from the shipwreck flooding back to Burgoyne. He reminisced about the serene moment sitting at the back of the boat, the mistaken auto-pilot assumption, and the sudden chaos that followed.

Burgoyne’s nine-meter trawler met its fate less than an hour after capturing the last photos, with the camera lost at sea, taking with it irreplaceable images. Among these were snapshots of a family gathering to scatter his parents’ ashes at Lake of the Woods in Ontario and a video depicting the turbulent seas his boat faced before the wreck.

This extraordinary recovery not only highlights the durability of technology but also the unexpected twists of fate, turning what seemed lost into a heartwarming reunion of memories from the depths of the ocean.

Sources: CBC