The barnacle-encrusted housing washed ashore on a Taiwan beach, where it was spotted by an 11-year-old boy, one of a group of schoolchildren out on a beach-clean, the BBC reported.

When he opened the case and switched on the Canon G12 camera, he found that it was still charged.

The children and their teacher Park Lee decided to check the pictures on the memory card, and deduced that the owner could be Japanese. They posted details of the find in Japanese and Chinese on Facebook, where it was shared 10,000 times.

Within a day the post had been spotted by friends of the camera’s owner.

Japanese student Serina Tsubakihara had lost her camera in September 2015 while on holiday on the island of Ishigaki in Okinawa, some 150 miles from where it was found.

She had been diving when her buddy had run out of air and the camera had gone missing when she went to her assistance.

She had written it off following the incident - and now plans to visit Taiwan to thank the finders in person.

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