For What It’s Worth

Getting there

Picture this: You lose your camera while scuba diving in Hawaii, and five and a half years later it turns up 5,000 miles away in Taiwan. That’s a snapshot of what Lindsay Crumbley Scallan experienced.

A bit hard to believe perhaps, but it happened. In August 2007 Scallan lost her camera while scuba diving in Maui. She went back to the beach the next day to look for it, but didn’t find it and, as she told Hawaii News Now, “at that point I just gave up.” She said she was disappointed because she had lost all her vacation pictures plus the cost of the camera.

Since then, unknown to her, the camera had been plugging along on the ocean floor covering about 2.5 miles per day (if my suspect math skills are correct) until washing ashore on a beach in Taitung on the east coast of Taiwan. There, two employees of China Airlines, Douglas Cheng and Tim Chuang, spotted the camera and picked it up. It was covered in barnacles, but to the men’s surprise the camera, batteries and memory card were working.

Studying the pictures, the men traced the name on a catamaran and found it was registered in Maui. Using images of Scallan from the memory card, the airlines then created a Facebook page entitled “China Airlines is looking for you.” The company also reached out to Hawaii News Now to help with the search. Two days after the FB page was posted, the airline found Scallan through a friend who identified her.

“I just was floored that it was my camera and it was all my old pictures and it was amazing,” Scallan said. “I just couldn’t believe it had floated so far, so long ago and the memory card was still intact.”

A CNN story reported that China Airlines had scheduled a web conference with Scallan for yesterday (March 28) to invite her to Taiwan to collect the camera. Scallan said she had just started a new job and was not sure time off could be worked out at this point.

I haven’t read anything about how the web conference went, but I would not be surprised to learn that her new employer would jump on this chance to be one of the best-ever bosses. Who knows, Canon camera company might want to get in on the act, too, since the camera is a Canon. What an ad campaign—Canon can travel thousands of miles in salty seawater and come out clicking. Hey, I remember that years ago Timex soaked up customers by advertising its watch being dropped in water and coming out ticking.

This story is a good reminder that the seemingly impossible sometimes becomes possible and happens to us. Much like that camera, pushed along by the currents and tides, we can allow our faith to keep us moving along, even when the odds seem to be against us. We might encounter some rough seas along the way and pick up some barnacles, but we can still come out of our situation in working order.

Picture that happening the next time your faith is tested.

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