Camera lost in Maui washes up in Taiwan 5 yrs later with pictures intact

Tourist’s camera found after 5 years and 5,000 miles | CNN Travel.

Few tourists are lucky enough to be reunited with lost items, especially if they’ve been lost while diving.

But U.S. tourist Lindsay Crumbley Scallan recently became an exception to that rule when, five years after losing it, her camera was returned to her.

Even better, the memory card was still functioning and she has been offered a round-trip ticket to Taiwan to retrieve it.

Scallan lost her camera during a night scuba dive in Maui, Hawaii, in August 2007.

The Canon Powershot in a waterproof case was found five years later and 5,000 miles away, washed up on a beach in Taitung, Taiwan. The memory card was not damaged by the sea water and the photos were able to be retrieved. By posting the photo on a facebook page and asking for media help, the finders were able to connect with Scallan. Amazing? It IS amazing that the camera survived such a trip, and was covered in barnacles as testament to it’s long immersion. But social media and the interconnectedness of the world today helped to bring this article back to it’s owner. It’s a nice story.

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  6 comments for “Camera lost in Maui washes up in Taiwan 5 yrs later with pictures intact

  1. Kev
    March 28, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    The amazing part is that this camera was found, and that the photographer was identified after 5 years. But that the card’s memory was intact, not so much so. The memory chip is encased in plastic that would only degrade from caustic chemicals or prolonged direct exposure to the sun’s UV rays, not from sea water.
    I once found a camera in a creek on a backpack trip, and the chip was still good. I stuck it in my own camera, and I could see all the photos stored on it. Thru the photo dates and language spoken in the videos, the local BLM office (issuer of the backcountry permits) easily found the owner. When I contacted them, they were delighted to learn that their photos were recovered after three weeks of being submerged under water.

  2. Bob
    March 28, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    Well, we’ll be able to catch the flounder who originally stole it because it took pictures of itself and all its friends. Doink!

  3. Ryuthrowsstuff
    March 28, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Right, solid state memory cards are nearly indestructible. I remember a few years back when digital photos were really starting to take over to pro market from film. One of the major photo mags did a feature testing how durable those things were. Sent through the wash, baked, set in concrete and chipped out, backed over by a truck, they couldn’t find a way to reliable destroy them without deliberately targeting the microchip inside of the plastic casing. Even in a large compact flash card the memory part of the chip is pretty small. Much of the bulk is made up of contacts, connectors, and just plastic. If the memory part of the chip is in tact (and its hard to damage) the contents can be salvaged, no matter how screwed up the rest of it is.

  4. Ryuthrowsstuff
    March 28, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    As an example this is an image compact flash card. Same format, but I’m guessing slightly older than the one used in the lost camera:

    http://www.lbodnar.dsl.pipex.com/CF-128.jpg

    I’m reasonably sure the black chip marked “Lexar media” is the only part of the board that’s actually memory. If that one chip is in one piece (or often mostly one piece), even if the rest of the stuff is completely destroyed you can get the data.

  5. March 29, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    I think it is funny (at least to an old guy like me) that we are all talking to day about digital cameras with memory cards. It’s not so odd that the card was intact, but I but the story would be different had it been film. Just really a smile and a nod of the head for those of us from the Stone Age.

  6. April 2, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    @Ryuthrowsstuff
    Not to put you down, but the “Lexar” chip is just an interface for the “Samsung” nand memory chip. The Lexar chip makes the Samsung chip look like a hard drive to the computer.

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