Diver’s Camera Found Two Years And 250km From Where It Was Lost Still Works

by : UNILAD on : 31 Mar 2018 16:57
Park Lee/Facebook

A camera lost at sea just short of three years ago has been returned to its owner after washing up on a beach in Taiwan.


Serina Tsubakihara lost her Canon G12 during a scuba diving expedition off the island of Ishigaki near Okinawa, Japan, in September 2015.

She dropped the camera after her friend ran out of air and required assistance.

The Japanese student believed she would never find the flashy piece of equipment, but in miraculous fashion it resurfaced in Sauo, Taiwan, 250km away.

Park Lee/Facebook

MailOnline reports it was discovered by an 11-year-old boy while he and some classmates were cleaning the beach. They deliberated with their teacher Park Lee about what they should do with it.

The Canon was coated in barnacles but after a quick clean they were able to open the case.

Incredibly, not only was the camera fully-functioning, but its battery life had survived despite being floating about for two and half years.

Serina Tsubakihara/Facebook
Serina Tsubakihara/Facebook

The pictures taken showed Serina and friends diving and swimming with dolphins, including some street scenes in Japan.

Taking a punt online, Park Lee’s post was shared 100,000 times and within 30 hours was located to Serina.

She said:


I can’t believe this is happening but the only thing I want to say is thank you so much for every single person who was involved with this.

I am so lucky and happy to have such a wonderful experience to feel the kindness of people… I never thought this would happen, but it’s still a wonder.

Serina Tsubakihara/Facebook

Earlier this month, an 132-year-old message in a bottle was found on a beach by a woman who thought it’d look good as an ornament.

Tonya Illman discovered the gin bottle near Wedge Island, Western Australia, in January and said it has been ‘the most remarkable event’ to have happened in her life.

Tonya recalled:

I picked it up thinking it might look nice on display in my home and when I got back to the car, I handed it to my son’s girlfriend, Bree, to mind while I helped my husband get my son’s car out of the soft sand.

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There was no lid on the bottle and peering inside, Bree caught a glimpse of what she thought was a cigarette, but tipping it, she found it was in fact a ‘neatly rolled, damp note, tied with a piece of string, and covered in sand’.

Inside, she found a roll of paper printed in German and dated to June 12, 1886, which was authenticated by the Western Australian Museum.

Using his basic German, Kym was able to figure out bottle was ‘thrown overboard’ and it asked that the finder sent details of where and when it was found – the rest was all done through Google Translate.


Ross Anderson, the Assistant Curator of Maritime Archeology at the WA Museum, was contacted two days after the find.

Just a day later, he had located a boat of that name listed in the Lloyds Register 1883 (there were no registers for 1884 -1886), but its home port was listed as Marseille, France. This was confusing as the Heimath (home port) field on the note had a town/city that clearly started with an E.

Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie or: Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency

According to Kym’s website, he says:

The ship would have been suitable for an Indian Ocean voyage and could well have been sold after 1883 to new owners and moved to a new home port. It was listed as a 320-ton gross sailing barque, iron frames with timber planking, felt and yellow metal sheathing, built in Lormont, Bordeaux, France, in 1859, owners L. Daver, Master Serett.

German maritime historian Christine Porr (who also works at the WA Museum) then advised the Illmans that she’d heard from Germany that her contact had found mentions of the Paula, along with the captain’s name (O Diekmann), in an 1887 Journal of German Marine Meteorology.

This clearly proved that a) the boat had the notes on board with one already being returned to Deutsche Seewarte in Hamburg, and b) the boat was in Macassar 11 days after the note found by Tonya was tossed overboard.

While the latter is obviously a lot more significant, Serina’s reunion with her camera after almost three years is still pretty remarkable.

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Topics: Viral