With well over 2,000,000 views on YouTube, there’s a good chance you may have seen or at least heard about the sea turtle that was captured on video somewhere between Aruba and Key West, Florida.
(The video is no longer available to be embedded on websites, so to view it, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E43sg-Ytt58)
This photo of a hawksbill sea turtle at right is one I took on a reef somewhere in the Caribbean. It shows what the sea turtle who had this “encounter with a camera” may have looked like, had we been able to see more of him…
In this June 2010 image, Paul Shultz is shown holding a Nikon camera and underwater housing that he recovered washed up at a local marina in Key West, Wednesday May 16, 2010. The camera was lost in Aruba in November, 2009. Shultz was able to locate its owner from the images inside the camera. (AP Photo/Paul Shultz,HO)
The red Nikon camera, encased in a clear, waterproof housing, miraculously survived an ocean journey that ended six months after Royal Dutch Navy sergeant Dick de Bruin watched his camera float away last November 11th. He was diving in Aruba as part of a dive team salvaging an anchor from the USS Powell for a World War II memorial.
While he thought he would never see it again, Paul Shultz, 1,100 miles away in Key West, Florida, eyed something pounding against the rocks of a marina. Encrusted with sea growth, he first thought the object was a rotting tomato, but inside the clear housing he found the Nikon camera, which contained photos of two men preparing to scuba dive and video of an encounter with a sea turtle.
This Nov. 11, 2009 photo, provided by Dick de Bruin, was taken with his camera and shows de Bruin, left, and Toine van der Klooster, both members of the Royal Dutch Navy, preparing to scuba dive as part of a dive team that was salvaging an anchor from the USS Powell for a World War II memorial in Aruba. De Bruin’s camera floated away from him during the dive and was found months latter in Key West, Fla. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Dick de Bruin)
On YouTube, Paul includes this information about his unusual “find:”
May 28, 2010 — I found a camera and Ikelite waterproof housing washed ashore in Key West, FL. Pictures dated from November, 2009 indicate it floated all the way from Aruba over a period of 6 months. Two months in to the journey, this sea turtle came across it and tried to eat it, turning the camera on and recording himself. The owner has been located in Aruba and confirmed he lost it while diving off Aruba on November 11, 2009. The last thing the owner did was take a video, so the camera was in video mode. This incident with the turtle occurred on January 15, 2010. The camera washed ashore in Key West on May 16, 2010 covered in growth.
Based on time, I estimate this video to have occurred in the vicinity of Honduras. The camera is a Nikon Coolpix L18. The waterproof housing is an Ikelite.
Special thanks to the good people of Scubaboard.com, Cruisecritic.com, and Aruba.com for helping me find the owner. I could not have done it without their help. Anyone interested in reading the case as it was solved, read here:
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