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Photographer Gets Camera Back After It Was Lost In Shipwreck-- Photos Are Intact

An artist was devastated when his boat crashed off Vancouver Island and his camera was lost at sea. There were some very important images on the camera and he was devastated that he probably would never get them back again.

Two years later, someone found the camera and was able to locate the owner. The pictures were remarkably still intact.

Paul Burgoyne, who lives in Vancouver, was on his boat, the Bootlegger, back in 2012. He was about 300 miles off the coast, heading to his summer home in Tahsis, B.C., when his boat crashed and sank. It was terrifying.

"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 tells the CBC. He lost his boat, as well as his camera.

It wasn't so much the material things that the artist lamented, but the loss of the memorabilia. The camera had a lot of photos on it that, for Burgoyne, were irreplaceable.

Some of the photos were taken with his family as they scattered his parents' ashes on Lake of the Woods in Ontario. The last images had been snapped just an hour before the wreck.

Burgoyne thought he would never see the camera again, but amazingly it was discovered by Marine biologists. Students with the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre university students Tella Osler and Beau Doherty were out diving to conduct research off Aguilar Point, B.C. and someone stumbled upon the camera.

The camera was sitting nearly 40 feet below the surface of the water. A number of marine species had found a home on it.

One professor who was on the diving expedition took the SD card home and tested it. To her surprise, it was still working. She decided to use social media to help her track down the original owner.

It was a stab in the dark, but there was one photo with a group of 10 people standing out on the docks. Someone might recognize a face, she thought.

She posted a group photo from the pictures on Twitter and asked if anyone recognized someone in the photo. Sure enough, a member of the Bamfield coast guard recognized Burgoyne. He had rescued Burgoyne when the artist was shipwrecked.

“Owner found!” the professor announced. “Thanks the Coast Guard we have identified the owner, and will be sending on the SD card. “

Burgoyne was stunned to get his SD card back with all the photos he thought he would never see again. "I have a new respect for, you know, these electronics," Burgoyne said. "You throw most of it away every two years, but that little card is an amazing bit of technology."

The artist said that, as soon as he saw the pictures, memories of everything that happened came flooding back—the good times, as well as the terrifying shipwreck. He remembers how blissful he felt just before the shipwreck, as he sat filming the slightly choppy waters.

He remembers as he sat on the boat staring out at the vast sea, he was thinking, "What could be better than this?"

What a great blast from the past.

Source: CBC, Boredom Therapy
Photos: Boredom Therapy

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