When Georgia resident Lindsay Scallan lost her digital camera during a 2007 vacation to Hawaii, she was understandably upset.
"It was towards the end of the trip and my pictures were on there and it was my first experience there, so I was pretty upset about it," Scallan told CBS Atlanta. "I took a lot of pictures, did a lot of snorkeling, a lot of scuba diving and a night dive. A night dive is when I lost my camera."
Scallan took a reasonable, if still sad and resigned, approach to the ordeal. "What are you going to do?" she said to CBS Atlanta. She then went about her life for six years, not giving the missing camera much thought. Until last Saturday, when she received a random message on Facebook.
"I get this random message on Facebook from a guy I went to high school with, saying his wife found an article and he thought it was about me and my camera," said Scallan.
That high school friend had spotted a report on Hawaii News Now, which detailed how the camera washed ashore on a beach in Taiwan. A China Airlines employee found the camera and flipped through the images on its memory card, which amazingly still worked. The employee then got in touch with officials in Hawaii to try to identify its owner. Those officials contacted Hawaii News Now, whose story on the camera went viral and was spotted by Scallan's friend.
"It was social media at its best," said Scallan to CBS Atlanta.
And to make things better for Scallan while also providing China Airlines with almost free advertising, Scallan is getting a all-expenses-paid trip to Taiwan courtesy of the airline to meet the employee who found the camera. And, hopefully, to do some diving.
"China Airlines has offered to pay for me to go out there and my room, board and my food and everything," Scallan said. "An all expenses paid trip to come out there and get my camera back and meet the guy that found it. It's been a wild ride...I went from normal and boring to a news crew sitting in my living room."