Man Uses Google+ to Reunite Firefighter With Camera Lost at Sea

Miraculous things can Happen on Social Media


Now here’s a story with all the right elements—a treasure is recovered from sea, a do-gooder returns an item to its owner, and an up-and-coming social network gets its big break.

According to the Google+ community, a diver by the name of Markus Thompson found a Canon Rebel 1000D at the bottom of the ocean off the coast of British Columbia in Canada.

Thompson took the camera home with him and discovered that the camera’s memory card was still in tact, though it had been underwater for more than one year. Thompson viewed the images from the SD card and gathered a few details: he discovered that the camera’s owner was a firefighter, and that the images were captured during a family vacation. Thompson then did what any other forward-thinking, well-meaning citizen would do: he took to social media to find the camera’s owner.

Google+ was Thompson’s network of choice. He posted pictures of the camera along with this message:

For Sale: Canon EOS 1000D. Description: only used underwater once, in t he Pacific Ocean, for approximately one year.

Actual story: found off the end of a wharf in Deep Bay, BC while I was diving on a job for the harbour. I removed the SD card, cleaned it up, stuck it in a card reader and after being underwater in a corroding camera since August 2010 – it works! Approximately 50 pictures on the card from a family vacation. If you know a fire fighter from British Columbia whose team won the Pacific Regional Firefit competition, has a lovely wife and (now) 2 year old daughter – let me know. I would love to get them their vacation photos 🙂

There are other clues on within the pictures – I think we should be able to track them down (not sure he’ll want the camera back tho).

By 5:00 p.m. today, the Google+ thread was updated, saying that the camera’s owner had been identified through Firefit Canada, an annual firefighting competition. Here’s a bit of the exchange:

“Hello Mark: Thank you so much for the mail. Yes I know exactly who the camera belongs to! He is a Delta Fire Fighter. I will have him contact you. Kind regards, Hilary.”

The story—which, by the way, is great publicity for Canon— is ALSO great news for Google+. The “Lost at Sea” narrative  is one of the first news threads showing signs of life on G+, demonstrating that people are using the burgeoning social network as a tool for connection and conversation.

@Amanda Cosco is a freelance writer, content queen & social media girl genius. To learn more about her, visit her professional blog here.