Camera Finds Way Back to Owner After Drifting 6,200 Miles from Hawaii to Taiwan


In 2007, Lindsay Scallan of Newnan, Georgia took her camera — complete with underwater housing — on a trip to Hawaii. It was on that trip, during a nighttime scuba dive in Kaanapali, that Scallan lost her camera to the deep blue. Understandably, she didn’t expect she would ever see it again.

But as we’ve seen in the past, the rule is “never say never” when it comes to finding long-lost photographs. Six years later, the Canon Powershot washed up 6,200 miles away on the beaches of Taiwan where a China Airlines employee picked it up, and began searching for the owner.


The search for the then-unknown owner began in February after China Airlines’ Douglas Cheng found the camera washed up on the beach in Taitung County. Fortunately, the waterproof housing had kept the memory card safe.

On the card, Cheng found photos of a catamaran called Teralani 3, which he then used to track down the camera to the boat’s tour operator in Maui. After contacting Hawaii’s tourism bureau and enlisting some help from the Internet, Cheng was finally able to track the camera back to Scallan and her August 2007 trip to Maui.


For the sake of accuracy, we should mention that the camera hasn’t found its way back to its owner quite yet, as Scallan only found out about it yesterday. For their part, China Airlines is offering to fly her out for free to collect her camera and get an idea of just how far it had to travel.


Scallan has had to refuse the offer, however, because she started a new job barely a week ago and can’t afford to take time off. But regardless, thanks to Cheng and his persistence, Scallan and her Powershot will soon be reunited in earnest … although, at this point, we’re pretty sure she’s already replaced it.

(via Hawaii News Now)

  • Zak

    More importantly, what brand is that waterproof housing? It’s really beaten up but looks like it still did its job.

  • Trey Mortensen

    Canon usually has a combo pack that most scuba divers (including my dad and I) buy. It’s a powershot with a hard plastic case. So I’m guessing that it’s Canon. That’s one tough case though!

  • Pam Lennard

    That is an amazing story! What a trip of a lifetime, to go and retrieve your long-lost camera. Thanks for the story and for a great opportunity to smile!!!

  • wilmark johnatty

    I have a similar case for my Powershot S90 that is over 8 yrs old – I’m keeping it!

  • Samcornwell

    It looks like a big fat GoPro.

  • MEl

    How long did it take to travel?

  • Elias

    this is just like Cast Away

  • Right Light Studios

    Can I take her place on that flight?

  • Leonardo Abreu

    Wow… That guy is cool.

  • Scott Verge

    Whoever made the case should definitely be contacting her to do some commercials and ads!

  • Duke Shin

    Lie down
    Try not to cry
    Cry a lot

  • pakita_ko_sayo

    Good advertising for Canon

  • Racmanaz

    It said six years, did you not read the article??? lol

  • Debb Rooken-Smith


  • facepalm

    Humanity saved: on a photography level anyway. Love it! :)

  • josh

    what is the brand of the waterproff case? i’m SOO getting that to protect my camera

  • Eziz

    would be funny if it was taking a timelapse :)

  • Ashley

    They did say it was a cannon powershot!!!!

  • Jeff Foster

    Careful, you can’t say that brand name or you might be sued. Ha ha

  • EjectDiskNow

    Yeah good thing about the Powershot underwater cases is that they float.

  • Guest

    oh great… and on the last pic she holds up a sea star. YOU DON’T HOLD THEM IN YOUR HAND!! why do they give out divers license to people who don’t understand the basic rule for diving: “don’t touch anything”

    this is mainly to protect the environment (there are so many divers who can’t control their buoyancy and thus kick corals and other animals!) but also to protect yourself (there are some very dangerous things which you might not even know that they’d kill you if you touch them

  • Berkley

    What a great offer from China Airlines. If I was Lindsay’s new boss, I’d give her the extra time off to fly over and pick-up the camera. That camera is a good luck charm.

  • kmansfield

    oh, please. If you are familiar with sea life, you know what you can touch. if you don’t, don’t touch it. This star probably eats corals.

  • necessitto

    it’s just a starfish. in its natural habitat.

    “..this is mainly to protect the environment..”

    really now ?!?!

  • Guest

    Luckily the camera does not contain any nudity otherwise the reaction from the media and you guys would be sooooo different. :-)

  • Opinionist

    more importantly Mr Cheng deserves everything for his action….good deed Cheng :D

  • Tom Markham

    Screw the job, take the free trip to China… Once in a lifetime opportunity ~

  • Mark Gold

    That’s awesome!

  • Dana

    It’s not china. It’s Taiwan, two entirely different countries.

  • Tom Markham

    Ooohhh sorry, I meant take the free trip from China Airlines. Chill dude.