Lake Tahoe Fisherman Pulls In Long-Lost Camera, Finds 5 Years of Photos Still Intact

We have a category called “Finds” here at PetaPixel, and never does it apply more literally than when we chance upon one of those long-lost-camera-shows-up-x-years-later-with-photos-still-intact stories. Today we have one of those astounding stories for you, featuring a camera lost three years ago that was fished out of Lake Tahoe just last week.

When fisherman Stephen Garnett reeled in a shiny object last week, he initially thought it was a smartphone. Upon closer inspection, however, he found he had discovered an old digital camera.

Not knowing what to do with it, he brought it home to his wife Jamie, a photo enthusiast, who was stunned to discover five years worth of photos still intact on the memory card. 1,065 photos taken between 2006 and 2011 were found on the card, which had spent the last three years between 150 and 200 feet underwater.


The rest of the story goes the way most of these great finds go. Garnett took to Facebook and posted a couple of photos from each year to her feed, in addition to getting in touch with the lacrosse team shown in some of the photos.

The persistence paid off when the owner, Jana LeVitre, came forward to claim the camera as hers. Apparently, she had lost it while sailing and is thrilled, and more than a little dumbfounded, that her memories are on their way back to her.

“What are the chances that she could find… the owners of something like that?” she told KTVN Channel 2. “It’s just surreal. I just can’t believe it and to think that it wasn’t found by scuba divers. It was actually reeled in by a guy who thought he caught a fish. That just makes it even cooler.”

(via Yahoo News)

  • ImUrAssassin

    I don’t click on Yahoo news anymore because of the guy doing this story. 90% of the time it’s “Odd News” and it’s always the same idiot
    I know 5 year olds funnier than this guy. I wanted to watch the video on mute but then I wouldn’t know the story. Yahoo, please fire this guy and hire someone that is ACTUALLY funny.

    I know this isn’t on Yahoo but I’m saying it here because I’m not digging through Yahoo to comment there.

  • stp

    Five years of photos still sitting in the camera. That says so much.

  • SiriusPhotog

    How about they fire this guy and just find someone that can report the NEWS without a schtick. Never so glad to be a Google/gmail user….

  • Rob S

    Pentax needs to buy this and use it in an ad campaign.

  • gochugogi

    I have friends and family that never remove the memory card or upload their photos to a computer. When the card fills up–a few years later–they get a new camera or phone!

  • Sir Stewart Wallace

    That is crazy. But not entirely different from most people’s families, most likely. Hell, even as a nature photographer, I’ll leave photos on a card for months, unless there is some pressing reason to dump the card right away.

  • agour

    Or samsung ;)

  • agour

    The story was alright, but yeah the presenter was a bit corny. I think if I was in the 5-10 year old age category, I might have enjoyed it more.

  • kb

    Can we please, PLEASE stop referring to the stored photos as “memories” and therefore implying that without the photos, the human has no memories?
    BTW, thank Sandisk that the card survived, not Pentax or Samsung.

  • Matt Collins

    I clicked!………..I lost 2mins of my life………I have to agree!

  • Atlanta Owner

    Were do they find the people who do the narration for these things? They sound like awkward little boys who still live in their mother’s basements. Geez

  • Guest

    Come on now…why do you think people take pictures? LOL.

  • niXerKG

    I’m sorry these kind of stories aren’t so surprising anymore. We know solid state memory is damn good at keeping things.

    What is more eye opening to me is she kept 5 YEARS worth of her photos still on the card. I know it’s pretty common with Joe Public, which also highlights how we are so much in our own little bubble when it comes to complaining about things but COME ON. How do you keep 5 YEARS on the same damn card.

  • markz

    not really that unusual, most of my family member never format the card or delete the files after uploading, For years I tried, then eventually gave up, to tell my elderly parents (in their 80’s) that after they make their prints they can re use the card but they insisted on buying new cards each time (not so bad now 1 to 4 GB cards are cheaper than a roll of film but not way back 10 years ago)

  • Duke of dudes, Lord of lads

    Why Samsung? It’s a Sandisk card in a Pentax camera, most of the credit goes to the card…

    (I don’t know if the camera is a product of the Pentax/Samsung cooperation or even a relabeled Samsung camera, is that what you’re referring to?)

  • Duke of dudes, Lord of lads

    Please don’t be mean, Pentax (Samsung?) should get some credit for building such durable SD card case…

  • agour

    woops, brain lapse I meant sandisk!

  • Terry Benson

    How cool , good karma coming full circle. Have a great full day:)

  • x4rd

    They already did it on their fanpage on Facebook ;)

  • Joshua

    In 2007 I worked at a photo lab and old people would give me their camera battery because that’s where they thought the pictures are stored. When I would show them that the SD card is where the pictures are stored they would be surprised at how small it is. It was future shock.

  • Erik Lauri Kulo

    If it was me, I would’ve reeled it in, up ’til the side of the boat, got all excited it’s a camera, just to lose it as I’m pulling it up. I love and I hate fishing.