A Saskatchewan man who lost his digital camera while paddle-boarding on the Atlantic Ocean months ago was surprised to learn it was found — and continued snapping images every five seconds as it was last set to do.
"I brought the camera with me, put it on a mount and stuck it on the board," Zach Wilson told CBC News Wednesday. "I fell in the water, came up and the camera was gone."
Wilson said it was a great disappointment because it had been an ideal day for paddle-boarding on the waters just off the coast of North Carolina.
"It was beautiful out," he said. "The most surreal surfing day I've ever had. It was just like glassy oceans. There were dolphins everywhere and the surf wasn't big, but it was fun."
Wilson figured the camera, and the images, were gone for good.
That was in May, 2011.
Then, on Sunday, a man from Virginia was walking along a beach about 24 kilometres from the spot Wilson lost the camera, and came across an odd find.
"I found this old waterproof case with something in it," Rick Spink recalled. "I had no clue what it was. I just thought it came from a boat or something."
However, when he wiped away the algae and cracked open the case, Spink discovered Wilson's camera, and a full memory card.
Spink uploaded a bunch of pictures to the internet on Tuesday and, within a few hours, someone spotted a familiar face and Wilson got a call from a friend.
"And he's like, 'I think you need to check Real Water Sports Facebook page and I'm 99 percent sure its of you, on your stand-up paddle board,'" Wilson said.
Wilson quickly confirmed that Spink had indeed recovered his camera.
The pictures include shots of Wilson on his board, and a series of underwater images — including one showing just how close Wilson came to finding the loose camera.
Wilson said he is amazed by the tale and is planning a return visit to the United States so he can thank Spink in person.
His camera, meanwhile, is in the mail.