Diver finds decade-old camera at Virginia lake bottom, returns hundreds of photos to owner

NEW RIVER VALLEY, Va. — A rescue diver who was training found a camera on a Virginia lake bottom that was lost more than a decade ago and was able to return hundreds of forgotten photos to its owner.

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Lilly Potts, a technical diver with the Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad, was doing water rescue training recently when she found the algae-covered camera a few feet below the water in Claytor Lake, WDBJ reported.

“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. And I had a friend that took it. They got it cleaned up and there were 300 pictures on it,” Potts said. “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.”

Way to go Lilly!!! During water rescue training, one of our divers found a camera with an SD Card that was lost 8 years...

Posted by Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad on Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Potts was able to connect with the owner, Brenda Dalton, after posting about the find on social media. A former teacher of Potts’ recognized the photos and was able to get the two connected.

Dalton was grateful. The photos were of her grandson’s birth, weddings and other family moments.

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“About a decade, you know, because there were older pictures on there, probably 10 years with the pictures, some I hadn’t seen since I dropped the camera,” Dalton said. “(I am) just filled with so much love and, and then other memories that stirs up other memories, but other memories back up, you know from watching, looking at those pictures and I remember, ‘Oh, how did I feel that day when I was in the hospital when he was being born?’ ‘How did I feel that day when I was walking down the aisle?’”

Potts was glad to help.

“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,” she said.

This may very well be the coolest story you see all day.

Posted by WDBJ7 on Thursday, June 3, 2021