Father and Son Snorkelers Reunite $30,000 Vintage Rolex With Owner
A father and son snorkeling team from Queensland, Australia recently reunited a Rolex owner with his valuable missing vintage timepiece after locating it on the bottom of a river along the region’s Sunshine Coast.
Elliot and Daren Styles, along with their friend Michael Whitehead, have become known in their community for clearing trash and debris from the Noosa River, as well as the occasional treasure-hunting expedition. Their reputation began years ago when Elliot found a missing GoPro camera while snorkeling, and after posting some images taken from the camera on a local Facebook community page, was able to track down the owner.
“It gave us a bit of a name as the finders of the Noosa River,” Elliot told Australia’s ABC News. “Then we started getting contacted from our Facebook page whenever someone lost something in hopes that we could get it back.”
Last month, the pair “received an SOS” from a man named Greg who said he had lost his 1973 Rolex Submariner and sunglasses in the river. In addition to its value being estimated at between $20,000 to $30,000, there was also sentimental value as he had owned the watch for five decades.
“With favorable tides and crystal clear clarity, we picked up Greg to direct us to the incident site. With [an] approximately 50 meter square search area and dive flags deployed, we begun methodically combing the riverbed, they wrote on their Riverstyless public Facebook page. “Thirty minutes passed, with naught but a shoddy fishing rod and rubbish … hope was beginning to be lost.”
“This is when Elliot swam a little farther than the search area, discovering the shiny 1973 Rolex Submariner and sunnies, laying side-by-side as if lost half an hour previously,” the post continued. “Screeches of delight echoed across Munna Point, we cheered and hollered, to Greg’s delight.”
They noted that luck was on their side as only one tide cycle had passed since the items had gone missing, adding a moral of the story that if you lose something on the water, your best chance of finding it is “getting out there ASAP before the river god claims it.”
In a second video post, they showed the exact moment Elliot came across the watch and sunglasses in the clear waters at the bottom of the river.
“Just seeing the word Rolex on that watch was crazy,” Elliot later told the outlet upon discovering the watch, which was still ticking when he found it. “I’d never seen a Rolex before, let alone held one.”
“We’ve pulled bikes, shopping trolleys, fishing gear, plastic pipes, glass bottles—you name it, we’ve pull it out of there,” his father Daren added.