Sebastian could feel his heart pounding in his chest as he waited for the images to process. He couldn’t believe that the SD card worked, that camera was almost as old as he was! However, once he saw the images, he wished that he could go back in time and stop himself from ever finding that camera.
His suspicions were confirmed by the images. The cold eyes staring into his sent shivers up his spine. The man was probably a captain on the ship long ago. Sebastian knew that he had to do something.
Sebastian Jones was an ordinary guy who lived in California, Los Angeles. Growing up, he worked on the docks unloading cargo. This meant that Sebastian often spent his time around the waters that the city had to offer.
Oftentimes Sebastian was stuck after school waiting for his father to finish his shift at work. So he decided to ask his dad if he could take a diving course based out on the nearby beach.
A Passion Develops
During his last few school years, Sebastian developed a passion for diving. His father encouraged him by buying him all of the necessary equipment—the mask, the rebreather – everything that he needed.
But while his father was supporting him in his hobby, he had no idea that it would spark a passion that would one day lead his son down a path that no one could have expected. And it would lead them to a harrowing secret.
Out Of School
After high school, Sebastian made up his mind and decided that he would become a full-time employee at the diving school he had been learning at for the last few years. He got certified as a teacher and never looked back.
Despite working as a diving instructor, Sebastian continued to dive in his own time. He would head out every Sunday morning for a dive just off the coast of Los Angeles. But he had no idea that one day it would change his life forever.
A Sunday Morning
It was a regular Sunday morning, and Sebastian took to the coast. He used one of the boats from his work and found a nice diving spot. He put on his gear, and after a few deep breaths, he plunged himself back into the warm water.
Despite diving for many years, Sebastian still always felt disoriented when he landed in the water. But after a few moments, he recognized his surroundings and started diving deeper than before. But he had no idea what he was going to find.
After swimming down for a few minutes, Sebastian saw something he couldn’t believe. Through the murky water, he made out the shape of a small boat in a place he was sure it didn’t want to be – the ocean floor.
Sebastian wouldn’t call himself a treasure hunter. He’d only ever dived for its recreational value and as a diving teacher. But at that moment, he couldn’t help himself. He decided to take a closer look at the vessel. But he had no idea what he was about to uncover.
The boat was the kind you’d take out every weekend to fish with your buddies. The strangest thing was that the boat looked completely intact. As if it had just sunk for no reason. But that was far from the truth.
Among the ship remains, Sebastian’s eyes caught a glimmer in the dark. He saw something that caught his eye. He swam closer and picked the object up. After examining it, he knew what he had found – a camera. But he had no idea that the camera would be the key to this mystery.
Back To Shore
There wasn’t anything else worth finding, and the ship gave him a bad feeling. He decided not to linger and to try and get back to shore as fast as he could. He breached the surface, and his buddy helped him aboard.
The two headed back to shore, and all Sebastian could think about was the camera he had found. He kept it in his bag and didn’t speak a word of it to his friend. It wasn’t for any other reason than he thought that the item might bring trouble.
Investigating The Item
Once home, Sebastian took the camera out to dry it off. He was excited to find out more about it. And the question that ran through his mind was whether he would find anything inside. After a hot shower, he came back to the camera to investigate it further.
Aside from the camera itself, Sebastian was most interested in the miniature ecosystem that was living on and inside the old camera. When the camera was opened up to reveal its insides, a strange feeling ran through him.
Besides numerous species of algae, he found a sea cucumber and two brittle stars living inside. But, as luck would have it, that wasn’t all he discovered.
It was clear that the camera had been at the bottom of the ocean long enough to get coated in a thick layer of barnacles and other sea muck. But he could never have expected the SD card ejection port to 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 photorapher 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!