Camera travels 1,100 miles by sea… and turtle

I dropped my waterproof camera into twenty feet of ocean water once while snorkeling off the coast of Mexico. As I watched my camera drift slowly to the rocky bottom I knew I couldn’t hold my breath long enough to retrieve it. Luckily for me a free diver was in our party and rescued my electronic treasure. The thought of a losing a camera can be somewhat sickening. Once gone most never expect to see it again. Royal Dutch Navy sergeant Dick De Bruin never thought he’d see his camera after losing it at a dive site off the shores of Aruba. Yet after six months of travel the camera found it’s way back to him.

US Coast Guard officer Paul Schultz discovered the red Nikon camera, still in it’s waterproof case, banging against the rocks of a marina in Key West Florida. The camera wasn’t marked with any identification tying it to the owner so Schultz looked through the photos and video still preserved on the camera. The pictures held few clues. There were photos of two divers standing beside a truck with a blue roofed building in the background, a family on a couch, and a curious video. It appeared to have been taken accidentally by none other than a sea turtle. The footage shows the strap of the camera hooked on the turtles fin. In the five minute clip the camera is violently thrashed by the turtle’s fin then floats to the surface.

Schultz posted the photos to and and the mystery was solved. Members of the sites recognized a plane’s tail number and tracked it to the island of Aruba. Another site visitor recognized some of the children in a photo and pointed Schultz to Dick de Bruin. “I have a smile on my face. I can’t stop laughing about it,” de Bruin commented. “It’s really big news on the island.”
(Photo: Flickr/NOAA’s National Ocean Service)