(NEW YORK) — After 2,000 days at sea, a camera dating from 2007 was found on the other side of the world, and with it, memories Lindsay Scallen thought she would have trouble reliving without her photos.
“I am absolutely astounded, blown away about all that has happened,” Scallen said. “This camera [that] I lost during a night dive when it fell off of my wrist, it survived and drifted to the other side of the world.”
Taiwanese native Douglas Cheng found the barnacled and seaweed-covered camera on the beach on Feb. 13. He uploaded the photos to his camera and realized that although the camera itself did not function, the photos were still intact.
Cheng then went to Tawainese police to figure out where the photos came from.
“The police realized the photos were taken in Honolulu, and they reached out to local news media,” Scallen said. “The article then made national news this past Sunday, and my friend saw it and sent it to me, and said, ‘Hey, someone found your camera.’”
Scallen said she spoke to Cheng via Skype on Tuesday, and he told her he found the camera on Chinese New Year, which marked a special day in his culture.
“It was really cool, we spoke about 45 minutes, and we discussed how he found it, how much it meant to Taiwanese culture to find it on this day, and how he believes in destiny,” she said. “He said it was really important for him to find me, because he was curious about my story and wanted to get the memories back to me.”
All the photos from the camera survived and contain pictures of tropical fish and marine life, along with photos of Scallen with friends. China Airlines has offered to pay room, food and board fees for Scallen to visit Taiwan, as an “honored guest of Taiwan.”
“They are going to fly me and a guest on June 2 for about a week, and I am so excited,” she said. “I feel really honored. This came at a really good time in my life, and is an extra blessing because 2013 has been a great year so far, and this added to it. It is truly unbelievable.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Holly Yan and Nadeem Muaddi, CNN
Steve Visser and Masoud Popalzai, CNN
Kareem Khadder, CNN