A camera that lay lost on the seabed for around eight years has been discovered by divers – with its photos saved in perfect order.
The older-style Canon camera was found in its case by divers taking part in the Waikawa Dive Centre’sfirst Trash to Treasure competition.
Now the search is on to reunite the owners with their precious memories.
Bottles, tyres and more than 2000 other pieces of rubbish were recovered from the region’s waterways during a month-long Picton competition.
Waikawa Dive Centre manager Kate Trayling says while trawling for trash in the Grove Arm of the Marlborough Sounds, a family came across a camera – not of the “water-loving” kind.
“We would love to return the card to the owners as it looks like a lot of memories are on it,” Kate says.
Kate, who organised the ‘Trash to Treasure’ competition for the Waikawa Dive Centre, says none of the pictures appear to be taken in New Zealand and heavily feature military aircraft and ships, including the USS Midway.
“We’re hoping to find the owner,” she says.
An image from the camera was posted to Facebook but the owners remain a mystery.
Divers, snorkelers and free divers took to the water to collect rubbish lying on the Sounds’ seafloor for the month-long competition.
Those who collected the most were allocated points, which were tallied up to reveal the winner.
Troy Frost took out the Grand Champion title after “spending hours” hauling up trash.
“Troy waded into estuaries and collected all manner of objects that had been discarded,” Kate says.
“He bought in over 800 bits of rubbish from the water.”
Overall, 2000 pieces of rubbish were removed from Marlborough’s estuaries, rivers and seabeds.
“Zoe Luffman came runner-up after diving with her family most weekends,” Kate says.
“During one dive Zoe managed to pull an old tyre on to the beach that she had dragged up from the seabed.”
Husband and wife duo, Chris and Craig Chapman, took out third and fourth place for their efforts to rid the sea floor of junk.
The winner received a dive computer donated by Cressi New Zealand and an annual launch pass from Marlborough Sounds Marinas.
Kate says she hopes the ‘Trash to Treasure’ competition will become an annual event.
However, next year, she says they will wait for the water to warm up a bit more.
After Marlborough Weekly broke the news of a possible big cat sighting last week, other people have come forward with similar revelations. Paula Hulburt reports.
She opened the curtains and froze in shock – a panther was prowling down the road towards the house.
Hot on the heels of a big-cat sighting near Ward last week, another Marlborough woman has spoken out of her own big cat encounter.
The woman, who asked not to be named, says she had been in Twizel in Canterbury late last year when she spotted the animal early one morning.
“It was only a few metres away; a huge, cat-like animal. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
“It was about the height of a German Shepherd but much longer with an enormous tail. It was taking huge steps but didn’t seem to be in a hurry,” she says.
The house was situated in a new development that was still underway, surrounded by forest and huge piles of earth.
But by the time the woman had ran for her camera, the cat was leaving.
“I knew I wasn’t seeing things but couldn’t believe my eyes a really but the time I ran to get my camera he had disappeared.
‘He looked very healthy and his coat was shiny, so I guess finding food hasn’t been a problem.
“I started to worry about kids in the area and what might happen so rang the police to report it,” she says.
A spokeswoman from Ministry for Primary Industries confirmed there had been sightings reported to them over the years.
But she says investigations had concluded them to be of a “large feral cat.”
“There have been around 18 notifications of sightings of a large cat since 2000, in both the north and south islands. As expected, notifications often come in clusters following an initial report in the media.
“Investigations have been carried out over the years and no evidence has ever been found to suggest the presence of an exotic feline. For example – paw prints reported in 2006 were confirmed to be those of a dog.
“Examination of photographs, scat, hair and faeces samples from various places throughout New Zealand (associated with reported sightings) have also concluded the sightings to be that of either a dog or a large feral cat.”