Paul Burgoyne thought he’d lost a set of precious photos forever after he was rescued from a shipwreck off Vancouver Island in 2012.
“We spread my mom and dad’s ashes in Lake of the Woods, Ontario. That was a group of family photos from that event,” he told the CBC.
But thanks to a team of university students, who discovered his camera while on a research dive to the wreck of the vessel earlier this month, he’s got the photos back.
Fox News report that the camera was a little worse for wear, having spent two years at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Various sea creatures had made a home of it. But after the dive safety officer on the expedition discovered the device’s memory card, she decided to see if she could recover what was there.
“My first thought about the camera was, are there still images on the card?” Siobhan Gray of Bamfield Marine Sciences Center told The Vancouver Sun. “I cleaned the contacts off of the [memory card] put it in my computer and it worked.”
The photos were then posted to Twitter in an effort to find the owner. It wasn’t long before a Coast Guard officer who’d rescued Burgoyne recognized him in one of the pictures.
Both the camera and the memory card were sent back to Burgoyne earlier this week.