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Owner found for camera recovered from Lake Superior

Two Harbors photographer Christian Dalbec salvaged this photo from a digital camera he found while scuba diving in Lake Superior near the Apostle Islands in September. Photo courtesy of Christian Dalbec1 / 2
This digital camera sat at the bottom of Lake Superior for 11 years. Its owner is Patrick Warker of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Photo courtesy of Christian Dalbec2 / 2

The owner of a camera found at the bottom of Lake Superior has been identified as a man now living in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

About a month ago, Two Harbors photographer Christian Dalbec found a digital camera while he was diving in the lake. He was able to salvage three photos and posted them on Facebook.

Jesse Bernhardt, pictured wearing an orange shirt, was recognized by Sarah Gordee, which led to camera owner Patrick Warker. The four people in the pictures were conducting research for the Student Conservation Association's Veterans Fire Corps, working out of Ashland.

"A friend was taking our photo above the cliff, and he didn't do the precautionary wrist through the camera loop," Bernhardt said. "We watched in horror as it tumbled down to the lake."

That was 11 years ago.

"I am amazed by the find and that we were all able to connect," Warker said. "I'll never forget watching my camera slowly sink into the lake."

Even though no one in the photo is from the Duluth area, they were able to reconnect and share laughs about the experience.

"The moment I saw the camera on the bottom of the lake, I was excited to find out if there was something in there," Dalbec said, "some kind of mystery waiting to be unlocked.

"They found someone from over 11 years ago, so social media can be good in some ways."

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