Sebastian waited patiently as he watched the images load one by one. He couldn’t believe that the camera’s SD card was still in working condition. But after he saw the images, he wished that it hadn’t been.
The images showed him what he had suspected all along. He felt a shiver run down his spine as the eyes stared back at him. This must’ve been the captain of the boat before it sunk to the bottom of the ocean. He knew what he had to do to make things right.
Los Angeles, California
Sebastian Jones was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Growing up, he spent a lot of time working on the docks, and unloading cargo. He spent a lot of time around the waters his city had to offer.
On regular days, Sebastian would be stuck after school, waiting for his dad to finish work. Because of this, he decided to ask his dad if he could start taking diving lessons by the nearby beach.
During his last few years in high school, Sebastian grew passionate about diving. His father supported this hobby and encouraged him by buying the equipment he needed, like a mask and rebreather.
But little did Sebastian or his father know that he was leading down a path that would someday change his life entirely. He would discover a harrowing secret.
Once he had graduated from high school, it was time for a new chapter in his life. He decided to become a full-time employee at the diving school he had learned from as a teenager. Once he got certified as a teacher, he never looked back.
He loved every second of diving, when he wasn’t working as an instructor, he continued to dive on his own. Every Sunday morning, he would wake up early and go for a dive just off the coast of Los Angeles. But he had no idea that it would change his life.
Sunday Morning Dive
It was a Sunday morning and Sebastian was ready for a dive. He used a boat from his work and took it to a nice diving spot. He then got changed into his gear and took a few deep breaths before jumping into the blue water.
He had been diving for years at this point, but he still always felt disoriented when landing in the water. After a few seconds, he recognized his surroundings and began diving deeper than usual. But he didn’t know what he was about to stumble across.
On The Ocean Floor
He swam downwards for a few minutes when his eyes landed on something unbelievable. Through the murky and dark water, he could see the outlines of a boat. But this boat was on the ocean floor.
Sebastian wasn’t a treasure hunter, he dived because of its recreational value. But he just couldn’t help himself as he got closer to it. He wanted to take a closer look. But soon, he would uncover more than he expected.
The boat looked like one you would take out every weekend to go fishing with your friends. Sebastian frowned, he found it strange that the boat looked completely intact. It was like it had sunk without a reason, but that was far from the truth.
As he looked down at the ship’s remains, he noticed something shiny in the dark. He slowly swam closer to it, picking the strange object up. Once he examined it closely, he could tell what it was. It was a camera. But soon, this camera would uncover the mystery.
After scanning over the boat, it seemed there was nothing worth finding. He had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach as he decided not to linger any longer. He decided it was time to head back to shore. When he got back to the surface, his buddy helped him back aboard.
As they made their way to the shore, all that Sebastian could think about was the camera he found. He left it in his bag and didn’t mention it to his friend. He didn’t mention it because he didn’t want the item to bring any trouble.
Once he got back home, he removed the camera from his bag to dry it off. He was curious to learn more about it. He wondered if he would find anything interesting inside. After taking a shower, he returned back to the camera to investigate it more.
Sebastian was mesmerized by the miniature ecosystem that was living inside of the old camera. But when he opened the camera to reveal its insides, his stomach twisted.
Inside he found numerous species of algae, a sea cucumber and two brittle stars. But that wasn’t all he found.
He wondered how long it had been at the bottom of the ocean. It had been long enough that it was coated in a thick layer of barnacles and other sea muck. But he never expected the SD card ejection port to still work.
An SD card
He was in awe. An SD card simply ejected from the camera when he opened the compartment. He knew this would give him the answers he needed to find out what had happened to the ship and whoever was on it.
He felt a lump in his throat as he picked up the SD card. He carefully cleaned it with an earbud and rubbing alcohol. Then, he slotted it into his computer and held his breath. And, lo and behold, it worked.
The Lost Images
Sebastian’s mouth grew dry as the images started loading one by one. He was still a little shocked that the camera’s SD card even worked. But after seeing the images, he had wished that maybe it hadn’t.
Although Sebastian was reluctant to scroll through someone’s personal and secret memories, he continued to look at the photos one by one, unable to tear his eyes away.
The Captain Of The Ship
It was clear that the photos showed him what he had suspected – he could see the eyes of the man in the picture staring right back at him.
It must have been the captain of the ship before it ended up on the ocean floor. But he had no idea that he was about to unlock a harrowing story.
The photos and videos were of various people at many different get-togethers, dating back as far as July 30, 2012. As exciting as it was, looking at the photos just didn’t feel right somehow.
Photograph after photograph flashed before his eyes, but long before he had reached the end, he knew that something had to be done. But what? And more importantly, how?
Now that he had seen the man in the photo, he knew that it was clear what he had to do. He was motivated to find out who it was and where he was, if he was even alive. He had to meet him and return the photo reel from his camera.
But he had to start somewhere. He thought about what the best method of getting information would be. He thought it would be easy, but it turns out it would be a lot harder than he initially thought.
Sebastian took to social media. He knew that his odds would be much better if he wasn’t the only one trying to find the man. He decided to post the photo on Facebook and ask for any information anyone could give him.
After that, it was just a waiting game. After two weeks, he started feeling that he may never actually find out where the original owner was or what happened to his boat for it to end up at the bottom of the ocean. But then he had a breakthrough.
No Luck Yet
Sebastian knew that the best chance he had of finding the camera’s owner was to take the photos to social media, but Facebook wasn’t getting him anywhere.
He began to tweet out some of the photographs using the hashtag “#detectives.” Soon, the photos had garnered hundreds of comments and retweets. But, despite the photos receiving a lot of attention, no one came forward. Then, he decided to try a different tactic.
Sebastian knew that he wasn’t getting any closer to locating the camera’s owner on Twitter. Eventually, he resorted to printing out the photos and posting them around the town.
And it wasn’t long before a member of the Navy recognized the man in the photo. Could he be the man they rescued from a shipwreck? Finally, he had their first lead!
Someone finally recognized the man in the photo. He notified Sebastian and gave him the details he desperately craved. Now that he knew more, he could do something.
The man told him more than he could ever have hoped for. They told him the man’s name, what state he lived in, and something that blew the case wide open.
The Man In The Photos
Jimmy Baker was an artist and photographer from Vancouver. He had lost his boat in 2012 when it sank. Once the man was identified, the Navy officer tracked down his phone number in an attempt to get further information.
Sebastian was thrilled that their search had finally yielded some results. But would the story end here?
The Man Behind The Mystery
One morning, Sebastian got the phone call that finally put an end to the mystery. The Navy officer was on the other end.
“He said when he got off the phone with the man, he and his wife were laughing a great deal, and mentioned how lucky he was,” Sebastian explained. But it was only when he heard the man’s harrowing tale that he truly understood.
Not wanting to miss a beat, Sebastian called the number the Navy officer had given him and heard a gruff voice answer, “Hello, who is this?”
He smiled and simply said, “Sir, I’ve been trying to find you for a long while now, and it’s because I found your boat and your camera.” Not long after the phone call, the men decided to meet at a local bar.
A Harrowing Tale
Sebastian could tell that the man was over the moon after being reunited with his camera and all of its photos. Sebastian excitedly asked for a recount of what happened that day at sea.
The man looked at him and said, “For a story like that, we need a drink!” and they both ordered a draught of beer each. It turned out that Jimmy was an extremely lucky man.
An Ill-Fated Trip
In 2012, Jimmy was making the long sailing trip to his summer home in British Columbia. His trip had gone without a hitch until he ran into a spot of bad weather.
With the sea growing turbulent, his boat was thrown against some rocks. He subsequently lost his camera in the wreck. Sebastian listened intently as he recounted what had happened and couldn’t believe his ears.
When Jimmy’s boat crashed against the rocks, they smashed his hull apart. Jimmy found himself stranded in the freezing cold water as the cabin filled up with water.
As water rose in the cabin, Jimmy barely had time to smash a window and struggle off the sinking boat before it disappeared under the waves.
With his clothes soaked in the diesel fuel that had spilled from his smashed hull, Jimmy fought his way through 100 meters of kelp and icy cold water, holding onto the piece of driftwood that was keeping him alive.
It was lucky that patrons at a nearby inn spotted him and called the Coast Guard. But it was only six hours later that he was rescued and brought back to shore with severe hypothermia..
Jimmy was thankful that he had made it out alive, but he had lost hundreds of personal possessions in the wreck. Over the years, and although it hurt him deeply, he had grown to accept what had happened.
He was most heartbroken about his camera — other possessions could be replaced. But after he had gotten the call from the Navy officer informing him that his camera had been found, he couldn’t believe his luck!
Another Stroke Of Luck
Some of the photographs on Jimmy’s camera didn’t depict an ordinary family reunion. In fact, they had been taken when he and his family had scattered his late mother’s ashes.
And the photographs served as a reminder to be thankful — after all, he had nearly lost his life on the night that he had lost his camera.
Losing something dear to your heart can be devastating. After hoping and praying that we’ll find it again, most of us will let bygones be bygones and carry on with our lives.
And when we lose something that we’re sure will never be recovered, we are forced to give up on the search. But fate had given Jimmy a helping hand.
Sebastian was very careful to back up the contents of the SD card before he had handed it over to Jimmy. “That card seems to be a little unlucky,” he said with a smile.
Jimmy is delighted to have his precious memories back — he never thought he would ever see those bittersweet photographs ever again. Thankfully, fate played a hand in getting them back to him. Jimmy really is one lucky man!