Dropped Camera in river

So I dropped my wifes Sony digital compact camera in the river wile we were beached. Plucked it right out of a foot of water right away. I took out the battery (lucky it was yurned off) and camera card. So should I let it dry out inside or leave in my garage which gets kind of warm during the day. I thought I would let it dry for a week before I but the battery back in and turn it on. Is there anybody that has done this?

Its only a $150 dollar camera, but its only six months old.

ive heard to put em in uncooked rice
but im not sure if its a good idea

inside bag with dessicant

– Last Updated: Sep-19-10 1:58 AM EST –

Dry off as best as possible. Place inside a bag with some desiccant. Rice can work. Or those little packets of silica that come with shoes and such.

Check this site for some info

Let us know how it turns out. I think
with prompt and thorough drying, you’ve got a good chance to get it working again. A longer immersion would put water deeper inside and cause more mischief.

salt water or fresh
Your results may depend on how far up river you were.

is the mortal enemy of electronics as it corrodes the contacts on the electronics.

If the water was in the least bit salty I would be surprise if it worked for very long.

I’m a huge computer nerd, my home pc is water cooled and while working on it several times have doused non running parts (on accident) in distilled water, as long as it dries before powering on its fine.

Best thing to do is open it as much as possible and put it in a container with desiccants, or rice, which acts as one.

Put it in the open
I think putting it in a bag with rice or desiccant is a bunch of bunk. How do you tell if desiccant is used up? How do you know if it can absorb that much moisture? If rice can absorb water in that manner why can’t I cook it by just pouring it in a bowl on a humid day?

I’ve had great luck with cameras and phones by simply placing them somewhere warm with airflow. In the summer I put them outside in the sun. After a few days re-install the battery and cross your fingers, I think it will be ok.

I’ve done it this way with one camera and my phone has been through it 5 times. Other than a couple sticky buttons after the the 3rd submersion of the phone they were fine.

Good luck,


BTW, my camera was submerged in salt water. I immediately rinsed it off with fresh water before leaving it out to dry and it seemed to be fine.


air flow
as mentioned above is key, I think.

I slipped on a rock while fishing last summer and went up to my neck in about 1 1/2 feet of water. My Canon was in a zip lock bag which was in the pocket at the top of my waders. the bag leaked, of course, and the camera got damp. The camera made a funny electronic noise when I turned it on and went dim.

I shut it off, went back to the camp and opened it up. took the battery and card out of it and hung it over a wood stove with the door open (camera’s) for the rest of the day. Working fine 3 months later. lucky it was fresh water.

good luck with yours

You must be kinda short!!
“up to my neck in about 1 1/2 feet of water”

He is a Gnome
You have probably seen him on the Travelocity commercials!

6’2" …
…but when you’re pretty well horizontal it doesn’t take much water to cover you.

Rice works with Phones
I’ve saved a couple cell phones with rice, and lost a couple using a blow dryer and the wind only approach. I’m sold on Uncle Ben.

Alcohol to the rescue!
No, I don’t mean get drunk and forget about the camera.

Alcohol readily mixes with water and the resultant mix dries faster. Alcohol is also non-conductive, so your electronics won’t fry if they’re not completely dry.

My regimen for rescuing wet electronics - assuming you’ve already removed any batteries - is:

1- Rinse in clean, fresh water to remove any salt residue, dirt, slime, etc. (If the water your camera was dunked in was clean, you can skip this step.)

2- Rinse in either pure isopropyl or denatured alcohol to dilute and remove the water. Be careful when buying isopropyl “rubbing” alcohol, as it may be as much as 30% water. Check the label. If all you can find is 91% pure, that will work.

3- Dry the equipment THOROUGHLY. Remove any covers that you can. I prefer to have good, dry airflow around the equipment and moderate heat - 100 degrees F or so - will help to speed the process. Drying in he sun or in a sunny window is good. If you happen to own a food dehydrator that you can set to a low temp, use it. Do not rush the drying process! Give it as much time as you think it needs, then double it. :wink:

4- Reinstall the battery and start it up. Hopefully, it will work just like new.

Buddy of mine used to put stuff in a vacuum chamber at a NASA lab he worked. I just use the wife’s vacuum food sealer. Dry it off and pop it on of the cannisters and pull the vacuum for 2-3 days.

Love the alcohol idea Brian. I have used it to dry out turning blanks of wood and it never occurred to me to use it for anything else.

we have a little Sony Cybershot …

– Last Updated: Sep-21-10 3:34 PM EST –

...... it's been doing great without any problems at all through the full temp. ranges from hot and humid to real cold . It's always gone out with us in the canoe . It was once dropped to a hard stone floor and fortunately no problems there . It's a real battery "sipper" too , charges fast and last a long time . Takes some nice pics. too (I like it's 7M reso. pics.) , best pics. are outdoors I think .

Anyway , a couple months ago it got it's worst dunking ever . She had it in a baggie in her PFD pocket and when she went in to wade around with a friends kid , forgot about it . Somehow the baggie wasn't closed and it got soaked . It took one pic. after that and gave up the ghost for that day .

At home with the batt. and card out we just let it sit and hopefully dry out . A week later it was working as always . The power button seemed to stick a few times at first , but not there after . The Sony Info-Lithium batt. that it uses (NP_FR1) has been going strong for about 5 years now , lots of use . We are planning to order a new batt. for it soon , the original Sony batt. , it has a 1280 mAH and the charge last a real long time . Sony is said to be exremely conservative with batt. consumption and have excellent electronics ... if our little Cybershot is any indication of that claim , I'd have to agree completely .

I’ve saved a camera and a phone with the white rice method.

water camera
As cheap as digital cameras are anymore I’m surprised more of you haven’t gotten a water camera. I bought a Fuji water camera just to take kayaking. I have a carabinger on the strap and attach it to my PFD. Its been in salt water and fresh. I have another camera that’s a lot nicer but I’m too chicken to take it on the water…I even bought a really nice dry sack thats just for that purpose. I could replace the water camera easily but not the expensive one. Photography is my bigger hobby and I want a camera with me where ever I go. By the way I’ve dropped my water camera on rocks and everything else and it keeps shooting.

After you get it dried out…

– Last Updated: Sep-25-10 6:04 PM EST –

take the hint and pick up a cheap camera dry bag off ebay. $150 is low buck when you look at the cost of digital cameras but a dry bag would only run less than $10. call it cheap insurance.

i used a basic ziplock before. i took out the camera when i wanted to use it. and i almost did the same thing as you. i found out later that my friend did accidentally dunk his. i took this as a learning experience (even though my camera didn't get wet). i have bought a few different camera dry bags now so i could loan them out to friends that go out paddling with me. better safe than sorry.

It’s not bunk
Rice needs both water AND heat to cook. We’re not discussing how to cook rice, just how to get moisture to wick away from the camera innards. While I have not used rice for this purpose, I bet it works.

However, I have used manufactured dessicant packs. Not only do they work, some of them–such as the stuff I use–have indicators on the container that turn a different color when the contents are saturated. When this happens, you can put them in the oven and dry them out for reuse.