A videographer who also happens to be a sea turtle has become a media star for filming the journey of a lost digicam that traveled 1,100 miles by sea and is now on the way back to its owner.
The seafaring saga started last November, when Royal Dutch Navy sergeant Dick de Bruin apparently lost his red Nikon Coolpix L18 while exploring an underwater shipwreck off the coast of Aruba. Six months later, Coast Guard investigator Paul Shultz spotted the cam--encased in sea-debris-encrusted Ikelite waterproof housing but intact--when it washed ashore in Key West, Fla.
Shultz said his investigative instincts were piqued by the orphaned camera, which didn't contain shots offering any definitive clues about its owner. He started sleuthing by posting a message on the online forum ScubaBoard.
"This is a total shot in the dark," he wrote. "I found a digital camera and waterproof case washed up here in Key West. I am trying to identify an owner so I can return it." He uploaded images from the cam, hoping other divers could help identify the location, which they pinned as Aruba, an island in the southern Caribbean Sea.
One photo showed the side of an aircraft, which helped Schultz trace the flight history to confirm that the camera had, in fact, been in Aruba. He posted additional photos from the camera to travel Web sites Cruise Critic and Aruba.com. Within days, an Aruban woman contacted Shultz saying she recognized the children in the photos as classmates of her son (de Bruin is stationed in Aruba with his family for several years).
The woman then contacted de Bruin to hook him up with Schultz, and the rest, as they say, is history. The camera is now on its way back to de Bruin--this time, presumably not by sea. … Read more