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Hundreds of 'lost' family pictures retrieved from the bottom of the sea

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 22, 2012

  • Left: Irreplaceable pictures that were on the camera picked up from the sea bed. And right: divers on a seabed clean who found it

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A family has been reunited with more than 800 precious snaps thanks to the dedication of the diver who sought them out after finding their digital camera sitting on the seabed.

Paul McGahan, 47, a music producer from Helston, was stunned after being handed the camera and memory card nearly two months after his ten-year-old daughter Maddie accidentally dropped it overboard on a yacht trip.

Incredibly, it was found over a week later by local diver Mark Milburn as he carried out an underwater beach clean off Falmouth, Cornwall. He checked to see if the pictures on the Samsung camera's memory card could be saved and found they included a family holiday in Florida, a school concert and a sailing holiday on the Helford river in Cornwall.

Now, after an appeal by Mr Milburn, who runs the Atlantic Scuba diving centre in Falmouth, the family has been reunited with the photos. A stunned Mr McGahan, his wife Rachel, 35, and children Rosie, 18, Branden, 15, Maddie, ten, and Myia, five, couldn't believe it.

He said: "It's just amazing. What a chain of events – you couldn't make it up. It's beyond belief really.

"There are over 800 family snaps on there. I never thought I'd see them again. I mean, we can go on holidays again and take pictures of them, but there were some pictures of my youngest daughter's first school play on there. They were irreplaceable.

"I'm just so grateful to Mark and his fellow divers. He's done a great job – he put a lot of effort into retrieving the photos from the card."

Mr Milburn said he would be getting in touch with Samsung and also memory card manufacturer Sandisk about the story. He added that he was delighted to have returned the camera and photos to its rightful owners. "It's fantastic to help out," he said.

"I'm just happy they got it back. It's a happy ending, which is great."

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  • Atlantic Scuba  |  December 02 2012, 5:58PM

    We complete underwater litter picks around Falmouth once a month. Decembers pick will be the 6th we have done and a return to Swanpool Beach.

  • Recklessradar  |  September 22 2012, 10:10AM

    The photo of the 3 divers exiting the water with their bag of rubbish, following the underwater clean-up, is courtesy of Ruth Holding; who was providing "shore cover" at the time.

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  • barrtribe  |  September 22 2012, 9:47AM

    nice one dudes

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