The Photos That Survived the Atlantic Ocean

Categories: News Other News Feature

By Moleboheng Tladi @ Times Live


A Gauteng couple are making plans to travel to Spain to show their gratitude to fishermen who found the camera they had lost overboard a cruise ship – and used the internet and electronic media power to get their souvenir photographs back to them.

“We are going to take something very South African to thank them,” says Barbara Gregory.

Barbara and Dennis Gregory lost the camera while enjoying a ship cruise from New York to Southampton to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in 2008. The camera fell overboard while the couple were on deck.

"It literally bounced and fell overboard. We were absolutely devastated,” says Barbara. The couple obviously resigned themselves to the fact they would never see their photographs again.

But nearly two years later trawling fisherman Benito Estevez found the camera in his nets while fishing in the Atlantic Ocean.

“He picked it up in his net, he realised that the camera itself wasn’t working, but he took out the memory card, put it in his computer and saw that it worked,” says Barbara.

Estevez and friend, only known as Fernando, blogged the pictures on a website called Cruise Review. The blog was then spotted by BBC travel reporter Paul Clifton. “

"The BBC took some of the photographs from Benito and ran a short clip on a newscast that showed both me and my husband separately on deck, with the question, 'Do you know who these people are?'”

The BBC report was spotted by the couple’s friend Laura, originally from Kempton Park, who now lives in England. Laura called Barbara and sent her a link to the news clip on the BBC website.

“I was ecstatic, overjoyed and thrilled,” says Barbara.

The 2GB Memory Card is in perfect condition and it is going to be couriered to South Africa as soon as Estevez comes back from the sea.