The title pretty much sums it up: What are the chances of a Compact Flash card that has been submerged in sea water for a few days still working? The card in question has a pretty expensive licence tied to it, but the ordeal of getting to it involves a scuba suit and a shipwreck. It's not enough to just be able to retrieve the data from the card, as the phpsical card itself is important. And for the retrieval to be worth it, the card has to work.

For the record, We're talking about 5 meters of water. The card was plugged into a card reader all along, so this should restrict water ingress via the pins somewhat. I'm not sure how water tight (if at all) these cards normally are.

  • 2
    Situations like this are entirely based on the specifics of the situation. There is no possible way we can provide a specific answer to a question like this. It might come as a shock but not all sea water is created equal, how harm it is to electronics, various based the environment. Could it survive?, sure, it could happen. – Ramhound Nov 17 '15 at 14:51
  • Considering the situation, I'd suspect the company in question would be unlikely to refuse you another card if you emailed them very very nicely, explained you lost your SD card in a shipwreck and asked them for a replacement. I'd do this first. Might end up cheaper than retrieving it. – Journeyman Geek Nov 17 '15 at 14:54
  • the water not so much the problem, but the highly conductive water, the highly corrosive conditions, in or out of the water. retrieve it, and dont power it till dissasembly and cleaning it with alcohol (or fresh water then alcohol) let dry then apply. The longer it is down there the worse it will be , if it is recoverable, so suit up. – Psycogeek Nov 17 '15 at 15:01

Yes it could. I don't see why not. But no guarantees.

It's not enough to just be able to retrieve the data from the card, as the phpsical card itself is important.

After you retrieved the data from the card, you should throw it away. You cannot trust it anymore.

Following your reasoning, it's not worth the try.

Aside from that, if the data on the card was really important, you would already have retrieved the card by now. The longer you wait, the smaller the chance that it still works.

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