When Serina Tsubakihara lost her camera while diving off Japan's Ishigaki Island in 2015, she thought she'd never see it again.
Fast forward three years and students from the Yue Ming Elementary School in Yilan, a city in northeast Taiwan, found the waterproof Canon G12 washed up on a beach during a clean-up event, over 240 km from where it was lost.
Along with their teacher, Park Lee, the students put out a call that included images from the lichen-covered device on Facebook, asking for help in identifying the photographer.
Less than 12 hours later 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 travelled to Taiwan with friends in March last year,” Lee wrote on Facebook.
Lee shared a photograph of Serina Tsubakihara in Taiwan in 2017 on Facebook and announced that the camera's ower had been found. She was "excited we had picked the camera up," he wrote.
Tsubakihara was so moved 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 said in a post on Facebook.
Here is Serina Tsubakihara's reaction to the discovery of her photos. She thanked the students and said she would visit them in June 2018.
She said a Japanese friend had alerted her to Lee's post.