His camera sank into Lake Superior, never to be found. Or so he thought.
DULUTH, Minn. -- When Scott Masterton's GoPro camera ended up at the bottom of Lake Superior during a scuba dive trip Sunday, he thought it was lost forever.
DULUTH, Minn. -- When Scott Masterton’s GoPro camera ended up at the bottom of Lake Superior during a scuba dive trip Sunday, he thought it was lost forever.
The Blaine, Minn., man didn’t count on the eagle eyes of Jim Anderson, a volunteer diver with the Washington County sheriff’s office water recovery team, which was training at the Madeira shipwreck on Sunday.
Anderson, 50, of Forest Lake, Minn., brought the camera to the surface. Team members later pulled the camera’s memory card, watched the video and saw the name of a boat - Sol Mates - that the diver had been on before he entered the water.
They tracked down the boat’s captain, Bob Karl, who was one of Masterton’s weekend divemasters, and said they had found a camera. He told them it belonged to Masterton.
“The odds are astronomical,” said Masterton, who drove to Stillwater, Minn., on Wednesday to retrieve his treasure. “We were down 110 feet. It’s pitch-black down there. I thought ‘Nobody’s going to find it.’ Somebody has good eyes. It is absolutely amazing.”
Anderson, a 19-year volunteer with the water recovery team, said he was happy the camera could be reunited with its owner.
“It was neat to find it, but even neater to find the owner and return it,” Anderson said.
Cmdr. Andy Ellickson of the Washington County sheriff’s office wasn’t surprised. He said the water recovery team is a dedicated group of volunteers and Washington County deputies.
“It’s a great, cohesive group of people that need to work as a team in order to accomplish safe and successful results,” he said.
Masterton was diving with Noah Young of Coon Rapids, Minn., the boyfriend of his youngest daughter Hannah, he said. The two were on a three-day dive trip with Superior Expeditions, exploring several shipwrecks in Lake Superior, including the Madeira, which sank in 1905. It was Masterton’s first dive trip to Lake Superior.
Masterton said he attached the GoPro, a gift from his youngest son, Joshua, to Young’s vest because “I actually don’t know how to use it.”
“We dove down to the Madeira, and we came back, and Noah said ‘Oh my God, it’s gone,’” Masterton said. “I said ‘You know, it’s just stuff. It’s not that big a deal. I put it on you because if I lost it, I would be in trouble.’“
Unfortunately, Masterton knows something about lost GoPro cameras.
Last spring, he and a friend went on a reef-diving trip in the Florida Keys.
“My buddy lost his GoPro there, but his had a floaty on it,” Masterton said. “The odds are, now that one’s been found on the bottom of Lake Superior, that they might find the one lost in Florida. You never know where it’s going to found. The ocean is a lot bigger than Superior … so it might end up in Japan.”