Diver reunites woman with camera lost in lake for nearly 10 years

A technical rescue diver in Virginia found a camera at the bottom of a Virginia lake and was able to reunite it with the woman who lost it nearly a decade earlier.

Lilly Potts was participating in a rescue training exercise with the Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad when she found the algae-covered camera at the bottom of Claytor Lake.

“I happen to pass over a camera, and I decided to pick it up and open it up and the SD card was still in it,” Potts told WDBJ-TV.

Potts enlisted the help of a friend who was able to recover about 300 photos from the card.

“There was so much sentimental value to all the pictures, like there was a wedding on it, two weddings on it, a baby being born, and I know if I lost those kind of pictures I would want them back,” Potts said.

Potts posted photos from the SD card to Facebook in the hopes of finding the owner, and one of Potts’ former teachers was able to identify the camera’s owner as Brenda Dalton, who works for the teacher’s husband.

Dalton said she thought some of the pictures had been lost forever when she dropped her camera into the lake nearly a decade earlier.

“And they are as clear as the day that I took them. You can’t — you couldn’t tell that they were underwater for years. There’s nothing wrong with the pictures that she was able to recover; they’re perfect,” Dalton said.

Potts said she was happy to have been able to facilitate the reunion.

“I was just so happy that it just meant the world to her, and that was so touching and moving to be able to do that for somebody,” Potts said.