A digital camera found on the coast of Taiwan contained images of Ishigakijima island in Okinawa. (Video by Hideshi Nishimoto)

YILAN, Taiwan--A digital camera drifted for about 200 kilometers in the Pacific Ocean for more than two years until it was found by children at an elementary school here.

To their surprise, the camera was still operable, enabling them to soon locate the owner, a Japanese university student who lost the device in Okinawa Prefecture.

“It is astonishing that the camera arrived here and the images in it were safe, but what was much more amazing is the fact that its Japanese owner was quickly identified online,” said Park Lee, 45, a teacher at Yueming Elementary School in Suao Township, eastern Taiwan. “We want to return it to the woman.”

The camera was discovered by the pupils on a beach near the school on the morning of March 27, when they were cleaning the area. The waterproof case was covered with shellfish and seaweed.

Both the camera and its battery were not damaged. The pupils checked around 1,000 of the saved photographs that showed, for example, a shopping street on Ishigakijima island in Okinawa Prefecture, and young divers who appeared to be Japanese.

The elementary school posted the images, along with Chinese and Japanese messages, on Facebook.

After the messages were reposted more than 10,000 times, a female university student in Tokyo contacted the school on March 28 to claim ownership of the camera.

She said she lost the camera on a visit to Ishigakijima island in summer 2015.

“I will visit Taiwan in June to receive the camera and say ‘thank you’ to them,” she said.

One mystery remains, however. Ocean currents flow from Taiwan to Ishigakijima, so it is unclear how the camera ended up on the Taiwan coast.