Family’s camera found seven years after falling into Florida bay

A charter boat company in Florida used Facebook to reunite a family with the camera they dropped into a river seven years earlier.

Dustin Molina of Plantation Adventure Center and Manatee Tours said he was giving a manatee tour in his boat on Kings Bay, in Crystal River, when he spotted something in the sand.

“I’m watching this manatee eat, and that pretty much leads me to a camera just sitting there in the sands,” Molina told Bay News 9.

The camera’s memory card still functioned and was loaded with photos dating back to 2012.

“There’s 2,380 pictures on this,” he said, “And it wasn’t just pictures of visiting Crystal River, kayaking or what-not. There’s pictures from numerous family vacations with this family.”

The charter business posted some of the camera’s photos to Facebook, and soon heard from the Stephens family of North Carolina.

“We come to Florida all the time and enjoy all that Florida has to offer,” Lori Stephens said.

Stephens said she remembers losing the camera seven years ago.

“This was our first time paddle boarding,” she said. “We always wanted to try it, and it was a beautiful day. And as soon as we got out there, we saw maybe 8-10 manatees come around and in my excitement, I did not have the little wrist strap attached to the little waterproof camera, and it slipped in the water.”

The Stephens family is planning another Florida trip in a few weeks for Lori’s 60th birthday. They are planning to meet up with Molina to get their camera back.