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Fisherman catches a lost camera in Lake Michigan and tracks down owners

If you lose a camera in, oh, let’s say Lake Michigan, there’s obviously very little hope of finding it again. And even if you did recover it, what are the chances of those photos surviving? Well, one lucky camera owner beat the odds in both cases, after his camera was literally fished out of Lake Michigan, and the photos on the memory card were found to have remained intact, even after two years of being submerged in the lake. A Michigan fisherman recently retrieved the camera, and, after looking through the photos, was able to track down the owners.

Related: After a shipwreck and 2 years undersea, the photos on this camera still survived

According to ABC News, Andre Monterio Da Rocha found the camera during a fishing trip on the Great Lake in September, near the town of Grand Haven. As most fishermen are aware, you never know what you’re going to reel in, if anything: After losing a fish that fell off the hook, the fisherman realized he had caught an Olympus camera in its place instead. Although packed with mud and mussels inside, Da Rocha was able to remove the xD memory card and insert it into his computer. Among the photos on the card was a photo of a sign for Mike’s Family Pharmacy, which was the clue that helped Da Rocha trace the camera back to its owner.

The pharmacy owner, Michael Cook, thought the story was so unbelievable he actually hung up on Da Rocha when he tried to call. Fortunately, Da Rocha was later able to get through to Cook, who just happened to have been on the very boat trip two years ago with his friends, Dave and Deborah Hays, the couple who had lost the camera. Hays has since declared the fisherman a hero for returning the item. “The whole thing was amazing,” Monterio Da Rocha said. “I’m glad I could give them back their memories.”

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of such stories, nor the last. While luck played a part, it’s an example of just how good things are made these days, particularly the memory card and the camera protecting it. Luckily, there wasn’t anything embarrassing on the memory card: a couple’s lost memories were recovered, and a man’s lost fish ended up leading to something more important.