Diver finds tourist’s camera off coast of Cuba a YEAR after it was lost at sea… and returns perfectly preserved photos after Facebook campaign
Most holiday snaps have a fascinating tale behind them, but few are better than the story that Emily Demello can tell following her trip to Cuba.
The 21-year-old Canadian woman lost her waterproof digital camera in the sea when she visited the Caribbean island with friends two years ago.
She was heartbroken after losing precious snaps that showed the group relaxing on the beach and frolicking in the ocean, but they have been recovered thanks to a scuba diver.
Emily, a marketing student from Vancouver, lost her camera in two feet of salt water while staying at an all-inclusive resort in Varadero with friends Madisen Singer and Hailey Olson in January 2012.
She told MailOnline Travel: ‘My dad originally bought me this shockproof, waterproof camera because I’m extremely clumsy.
‘He said it was “Emily proof”. I was taking photos with my friends in the ocean maybe three days into the trip and I got hit by a big wave which knocked the camera out of my hand.
‘We looked for the camera for about 20 minutes, walking around the area in the water and walking along the beach. As soon as it was gone the current must have taken it away, though.’
Emily was 18 at the time and it was one of her first trips abroad with her friends.
‘It was disappointing that I still managed to lose the camera, even with all of its safety features. We did have other cameras but had lots of video diary footage on my camera that we had been taking since the trip began.’
There were about 100 photos and video clips on the memory card, and as luck would have it one of the pictures was of her boarding pass, which had her name printed on it, on the long journey from Vancouver to Varadero.
That’s how Ruben Urquiza managed to track her down.
Ruben, a professional diver, found the camera – damaged from being pounded by waves – a year ago while he was diving in the ocean off the coast of Varadero, but the memory card was intact.
But he didn’t get around to finding Emily until this month because he only recently gained access to the internet, she said.
He downloaded the photos and video clips to his computer and scrolled through them, spotting the image of the aeroplane ticket with Emily’s name on it.
From there, Ruben was able to track down Emily on Facebook, sending a friend request and a message that had one of the photos attached to prove that it wasn’t a bizarre hoax.
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