Three years ago, Serina Tsubakihara lost her camera while diving off Japan’s Ishigaki Island. Of course, she never thought she’d ever see it again.
However, during a clean-up event held by Yue Ming Elementary School along the Yilan coastline, a city in northeast Taiwan, a group of fifth-grade students stumbled upon a Canon G12 washed up ashore over 240 km from where it was lost.
The camera was enclosed in a waterproof case, and despite the accumulation of marine organism deposits on the case, it surprisingly did not suffer any water damage.
Clearly, the camera had not been used for at least two and a half years since the most recent photos on it were timestamped September 7, 2015.
Together with their homeroom teacher, Park Lee, the students put out a call that included images from the möss-covered device on Facebook, asking his friends to help locate the owner whom they believed was Japanese with the help of Frank Hsieh, Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Japan. After less than 12 hours, Lee and his class had located Tsubakihara.
“Thanks to the amazing internet world, we’ve found the camera’s owner! She is a student who is currently in her third year of English studies at the Department of Foreign Languages in Tokyo’s Sophia University. The world is really coincidental – she actually traveled to Taiwan with friends in March last year,” Lee wrote.
Tsubakihara was so touched by the story that she decided to make another trip to Taiwan to meet the people who had discovered her long-lost camera.
“With so many people’s support, Lee’s post hit over 10,000 shares and finally came to me!” Tsubakihara wrote. “I still can’t believe this is happening… I am so lucky and happy to have such a wonderful experience to feel people’s kindness,” Tsubakihara added in her post on Facebook.