Sophia University student’s camera found on Taiwan beach after being lost at sea for two years

by Ko Shu-Ling

Kyodo

The owner of a camera lost at sea for over two years — which turned up on a beach in Taiwan this week — has been identified as a university student in Tokyo after an online search.

The last photo on the camera, which was found on Tuesday, was taken on Sept. 7, 2015, on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa Prefecture. The island is about 250 km away from northern Taiwan.

The owner was identified on Wednesday.

Park Lee, a teacher at the Yue Ming Elementary School in Suao Township, Yilan County, said the camera was found by his students, who were on a beach-cleaning trip. He thanked those who helped in the search for the owner, who Lee said is a third-year student at Sophia University.

“It’s an interesting world,” Lee said on his Facebook page. “She just visited Taiwan with her friends in March last year.”

Lee said the owner, Serina Tsubakihara, told him she was excited to hear about her lost camera from friends and thought it was amazing that it was found by elementary school students.

Lee said Tsubakihara plans to visit Taiwan in the near future to personally thank the students.

The news came just hours after Frank Hsieh, Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Japan, joined in the search for the owner, who was believed to be Japanese due to the photos found on its memory card.

Hsieh said on his Facebook page that several of his friends asked him to help locate the owner.

The camera was found enclosed in a waterproof case. Despite the accumulation of marine organism deposits on the case, the camera itself did not suffer water damage.

Lee posted a message on Facebook on Tuesday asking his friends to help locate the owner. The post, which was accompanied by a Japanese translation, was shared over 10,000 times. The owner was identified 12 hours later.

Taiwan’s Liberty Times newspaper first reported the story on Tuesday, and it soon went viral.