Sunday 17 January 2021

Facebook appeal leads to Dutch student who lost her camera while swimming

One of the photos on Facebook

One of the photos on Facebook

A Dutch student who lost her underwater camera while swimming in New Zealand six months ago has been surprised by the discovery of her photos, thanks to an eagle-eyed local.

Bibi-Anne de Klejin was on a month-long trip in Asia and New Zealand when her camera strap broke during a visit to a swimming hole on the Coromandel Peninsula.

‘I was really sad about it, because the camera had been given to me by the children I babysit for,’ she told EditieNL news. Despite diving repeatedly, she and her friend failed to recover the camera.

Months later, Gus Anning found the camera wedged under a rock in the Tairua river. He placed several of the photographs on Facebook in an effort to track down the owner, having worked out the people on the pictures were Dutch.

‘Recognise these people? Can we return the camera and photos to them? At least I’d like to try,’ wrote Anning.

His appeal for help was shared over 1,600 times and got lucky. Friends in New Zealand recognised Bibi-Anne on the photos and got in touch. Gus has now sent the camera to a friend of Bibi-Anne’s in Australia, who will bring it back to the Netherlands in October.

‘I told my mother that if anyone found the camera, I would be sure to get it back,’ the veterinary student told EditieNL. ‘The people there are so nice and kind.’

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