Flooded Camera, What To Do Next....

Jun V Lao Photography

Quick steps

1. Turn off the power & take out the battery
2. Immediately dunk the Camera, Cellphone, Mp3 player etc in a tub filled with Distilled water for 3-6 hours.
3. Take out, let it air dry for a day then place in a zip lock bag filled with rice to absorb whatever water remains. 
4. Take your gadget to the nearest service center if it does not turn on. At times, It gets a second lease in life after this method. 

During the summer of this year, I was on a roll getting small projects to fund my hobby for my underwater photography. One unforgettable assignment was working for a foundation in Ilijan province, where the principal's vision was to promote his town as a tourism hub via creation of a coffee table book showcasing the amazing marine life found within his area. I charged a measly Php5,000 per day since I at the time was just happy getting projects and it was quite a good story, on the side, he shared that a nearby power company had cooler vents which was killing several wildlife like turtles and once even sucked up a dude... I seriously wanted to document this.

House Reef of Ilijan was like a mile long
stretch of soft coral patches filled with
swarming anthias & other marine life. 
On the very first dive, I saw that the House reef of my principal's resort was fantastic & from a distance, you could see Verde Island, dubbed by marine biologists as the center of the center of marine biodiversity. The resort had no scuba diving facilities whatsoever but they've tirelessly worked hard on setting things up, brought in several DM's and was able to borrow a compressor & tanks. However since I charged just Php5k a day, he wanted things done quickly so being the eager to please me, I shared ok maybe four to five days was optimal, but he argued maybe can be done in two when I was already there.  So off I went and did several  dives during day one. The first two dives we're amazing and boy was he right sharing the area was quite virgin. I made a quick video on the spot (eager beaver pleaser) and the crowd grew wild sharing wow, amazing what can be found in front. By night fall, I was already quite tired but he kind of insisted we do another night dive, maybe trying to maximize the shots I could take and save a few bucks by cutting everything into two days. 

As the saying goes, fools rush in and without a proper area for setting up my underwater camera, plus with a bit of fatigue, the inevitable happened, I flooded my camera. Of course the first thing I did was threw a tantrum for a few minutes, but after a while sat down thinking of what to do next. With a clouded mind, I gave Splash owner Jovic a call asking what I should do. I could never forget the words he shared but it did made sense but I did not follow it. With conviction he told me, "Jun I know this is 'counter intuitive' but what you do is to dunk your camera in distilled water right away." This is what I should have done but in my mind, water didn't really go in fully so I just packed my things and hurried to the nearest Canon service center. The Magallanes service center after three days called back to me sharing everything had to be replaced as everything inside started corroding already, and a Php25k bill was shared, which will take me three to four weeks to get back. 

Anyway, sharing this experience, I hope anyone who gets to read this follows these steps, and this does not only apply to Cameras but also Cell phones and other electronic gadgets exposed to sea water

Anyway, did I have my camera serviced?. I couldn't wait for another three to four weeks so I went on sulit.com.ph and just bought another second hand body. The body I drowned became a good conversation piece for any friends visiting my house. As I always share, recycling is good for the environment and it is now serving us well. Thanks to my friend Adrian Ho for sharing how to maximize its full potential beyond its ability to take images. 

As for the project, Me & my principal never got to do a coffee table book. After buying my second camera body, Me & a few buddies went back to his place as he gave us free diving to Verde Island. Here is the product of that quick trip with my buddies. It was a happy day for all.

passion photographer, cafe racer fanatic

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