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Lost wallet recovered from reef after a year-and-a-half

When Ron Spencer went snorkelling with his children off South Shore last weekend, he expected to see some fish.

What he found was a wallet full of credit cards trapped in a coral reef.

It had sat there for more than a year after it was lost by a vacationing New York attorney.

“I was completely surprised,” Mr Spencer said. “I thought maybe it was stolen and thrown overboard, but it was still in the [trouser] pocket.”

Mr Spencer said he spotted what appeared to be a piece of material trapped in a section of the reef. He dove down in an attempt to retrieve it and, while he couldn’t get it loose, he could feel credit cards inside.

On his third attempt he managed to pull the wallet, filled with sand, free. Inside, he discovered more than a dozen credit cards and a New York driver’s licence with the name James Beha.

“As soon as I got home I googled him and found a prominent New York attorney by the same name,” Mr Spencer said.

“He didn’t look quite like the man on the ID so I e-mailed him and he responded the next day.”

Mr Beha told him that he was on the Island for a vacation a year-and-a-half ago and, walking down the beach, he dropped a towel and a pair of pants.

When he noticed the items were missing, he searched the beach, but was unable to find them.

“I guess the tide took them,” Mr Spencer said. “The pants washed away, but the wallet must have gotten stuck. It was filled with cards and pretty heavy.

“It must have taken him a week just to cancel all the cards.”

Yesterday, Mr Spencer put the crumbling wallet in the mail to return it to Mr Beha. Although the cards have long since been cancelled, Mr Spencer said he thought the wallet might make an interesting souvenir.

B>Ron Spencer holds a wallet which he found lodged in a reef on the south shore.

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Published September 23, 2011 at 9:00 am (Updated September 23, 2011 at 9:55 am)

Lost wallet recovered from reef after a year-and-a-half

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