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13 years after losing camera in river, woman sees photos for 1st time

Her camera sat in a Colorado river for 13 years, but it only took a Facebook user a matter of hours to reunite the camera's photos with its owner.

Coral Amayi's camera after 13 years in a river.
Coral Amayi's camera after 13 years in a river.
Coral Amayi
SMS

It’s been 13 years since Coral Amayi last saw her Olympus digital camera she was using at the end of a tubing trip down the Animas River in Durango, Colorado.

The camera had a number of photos from recent events, including the wedding of her best friend. When she got off the tube, she realized the camera was missing. 

“I flipped out of my tube and got chundered by the rapid,” she said. “When I retrieved my tube and got to shore I realized the small cord that attached my camera to my neck and floatation device had broken. I [returned to] the section hoping to see it but to no avail.”

The camera, which had gone so many places with her, was gone. She said she cried uncontrollably after realizing it was in the river. 

Of course, with it being submerged underwater, there was little hope the camera would ever be found. 

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Fast forward to March 2023. Spencer Greiner found the camera in the river. He said the camera was “far beyond repair,” but the memory card with all of the photos was still on there. 

Greiner used a Facebook post in hopes of finding the camera’s owner. It didn’t take long for Amayi to start getting notifications. Amayi said she was “blown away” and danced when she found out the pictures were saved. 

She said her favorite photos on there were ones of her dog, who died last year, and pictures of the first time she met her high school friends. 

Amayi expressed her gratitude for Greiner reuniting her with these pictures. Amayi said Greiner was able to pry open the camera to retrieve the memory card using a screwdriver. The camera was found in a sandbank near the river, Amayi said.

“I am really thankful Spencer took the time to find us,” she said. “People who take the time to help locate the owners of a lost item make the world a better place. It takes a small amount of effort but the reward of gratitude from someone who is reunited is priceless.”