Internet search underway to find owners of GoPro camera lost at sea five years ago

Sunken treasure in the form of a mystery couple's 2013 holiday snaps has been found on a GoPro nearly 10 metres underwater on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Unknown couple on GoPro camera discovered on Great Barrier Reef
Do you know this couple who lost their GoPro camera at the Great Barrier Reef in 2013? Source: Supplied / John Michael Darrin

American tourist John Michael Darrin discovered the algae encrusted device while diving off the far north Queensland coast in November 2017. He managed to extract an SD card from the camera before losing it himself while continuing his own holiday to Bali.

"I checked and checked, all throughout the next couple months as we backpacked through Thailand, Vietnam, and Hong Kong, hoping it would show up. But no luck. I was completely bummed," Mr Darrin told Australia's ABC.

Finally, nearly 12 months on, the tricky SD card reappeared last week.

"I'm going through old stuff and begin packing for a dive trip coming up next week, [and] as I'm pulling stuff out and rearranging things, out falls the SD card."

After he cleaned off the sea residue with isopropyl alcohol and a toothpick he was ready to attempt to read the cards digital files.

"I dry it off and push the card into a reader and insert it into my computer. My computer beeps, and instantly reads the card," he said.

GoPro camera discovered of Great Barrier Reef
The damaged GoPro was discovered tucked away on a coral reef without a case. Source: Supplied / John Michael Darrin

"As I waited in anticipation, what was a couple of seconds felt like forever. I open up the files and instantly go through the footage, looking for anything that could help me find them. This whole process took almost a year to solve."

Nearly 300 photos and videos were on the card but there were few apparent clues as to the identity of the owners. The couple appeared to be on a snorkelling tour on board the Cairns-based Rum Runner in January 2013 Mr Darrin said.

Mr Darrin posted the original discovery and continuing saga to Reddit and Facebook, hoping the site's worldwide community would be able to identify the selfie taking owners.

"I've lost a GoPro myself, so I understand their feeling. I'd hope someone would try to return it as well" he said.

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