A corroded camera that spent six months lost at sea has been reunited with its owner – with the hundreds of photos inside still intact.
Tony Howard, 49, was out looking for shells with his two daughters when he spotted the badly-battered Nikon washed up among rocks.
He took it home and managed to remove the memory card with a pair of pliers and put it into his computer.
To his surprise the card was still working and it showed hundreds of photos of a bearded adventurer posing at different locations around the world.
Some showed the mystery man surrounded by snowy peaks and mountain biking and others had him in combat fatigues in Afghanistan.
Shop owner Tony turned detective and posted some of the images on Facebook in a bid to track down the owner.
The post was shared hundreds of times and a man called Jim Whittaker got in touch.
He explained that he had borrowed the waterproof Nikon Coolpix AW100 off pal Andy Wagstaff (corr).
Jim lost the water-proof Nikon last September when it slipped out of his wet suit as he swam off Woody Bay in North Devon – close to where it was found.
Dad-of-two Tony said: “I was out walking with my girls on Woody Bay beach, looking for shells.
“I saw a black thing under a boulder and, as I got closer, saw it was a camera. I nearly threw it away it was so badly damaged.
“But I thought, ‘let’s take it home and recover the pictures’.”
Tony, who lives nearby on Exmoor, added: “I was quite amazed with all of those photos on it.
“It was a guy travelling all round the world. I put it on Facebook and asked people to share it – it went into meltdown.
“A man called Jim got in touch – it turns out he lost the camera while swimming at sea.”
The charity had seen Tony’s Facebook post which included photos of Andy in a Diabetes UK T-shirt completing the Tough Mudder fund-raising event.
Andy said: “It’s a relief because there are lots of photos on there.
“I’d not got them saved anywhere or backed up. There are great photos on there from years ago.
“I’d lent it to a guy who had gone swimming around north Devon.
“He had the camera down his wetsuit and he lost it. I thought, ‘that’s that – things happen’.
“I was so surprised it had been found six months down the line still intact and had survived the winter months.”
There were also pictures of him diving in Oman and mountain climbing in India and Nepal and others close to home in the Lake District.
He added: “It’s fantastic news, I’m delighted.”