Camera survives three-year, 700-mile underwater odyssey - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Camera survives three-year, 700-mile underwater odyssey

The camera traveled from Cozumel, Mexico, to Johnson Bayou. (Source: KPLC) The camera traveled from Cozumel, Mexico, to Johnson Bayou. (Source: KPLC)
Roxane Mart. (Source: KPLC) Roxane Mart. (Source: KPLC)
Pascal Levai. (Source: Facebook) Pascal Levai. (Source: Facebook)
This photograph is one of over 900 that were found on the camera. (Source: KPLC) This photograph is one of over 900 that were found on the camera. (Source: KPLC)
The camera traveled from Cozumel, Mexico, to Johnson Bayou. (Source: KPLC) The camera traveled from Cozumel, Mexico, to Johnson Bayou. (Source: KPLC)
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

A local woman found a digital camera on a beach near Johnson Bayou last month.

The camera, housed in a water-proof case, was covered in sand but still worked.

Even more surprising than the find is the story of where it came from and how it made its way to Southwest Louisiana.

Roxane Mart said she was riding ATVs with friends when she came across the camera.

"I picked it up and threw it up on the 4-wheeler," Mart said. "My friend Wendy hit the on button, and it came on, which kind of surprised us. The battery life was about three-quarters full."

When she got home, Mart popped the memory card into a computer. There were over 900 photos, most of which were from a 2011 diving expedition near Cozumel, Mexico.

"There were beautiful pictures," she said.

One photo in particular stood out. It was a shot of a passport, and Mart hoped it would lead her to the camera's owner.

With the help of U.S. Border Patrol, Mart identified the man in the passport as Pascal Levai.

"It was on my mind since I picked the camera up, and I wouldn't stop until I found him," she said.

Mart then took to social media to connect with Levai, a deep-sea diver from Cozumel.

"I didn't want to give the piece of equipment to the wrong person, so I sent him a picture (from) the camera," she said. "He said 'OMG, that's my sister's kids; you have my camera.'"

Levai said he lost the camera three years ago during a dive.

Mart said she plans on returning the camera and Levai has offered to take her diving if she ever finds herself in Cozumel.

"He said it's never too late, so we'll see," she said. "Maybe one day."

For now, Mart said the satisfaction of doing the right thing is enough for her.

"I could keep it, but why," she said. "It's for the guy, and it'll bring back a lot of memories for him."

"It is amazing Roxane took the time to find me," Levai said. "I'm happy there are still honest people out there."

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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