Shrimp fisherman Henk Kuiper has been reunited with an earring he lost at sea some 23 years ago, when it turned up on board another trawler, Dutch media reported on Friday.
The earring features a silhouette of the trawler WR70 which actually sank some 36 years ago off the coast of Tereschelling and was of great sentimental value to Kuiper. He was on board at the time.
“I still get shivers down my spine when I think about it,” he told local broadcaster NH Nieuws.
The tiny gold earring was found on Tuesday on another boat which was fishing south of the Wadden Sea island of Texel. It appears to have been scooped up and brought on deck with a batch of razor clams.
Stel je voor dat je je oorbel verliest op zee. Hoe groot is dan de kans dat deze na 23 jaar wordt teruggevonden? Het overkwam Henk Kuiper uit Den Oever.
— NH Nieuws (@NHNieuws) August 3, 2023
“I was busy hosing down the decks when we were finished fishing and then I saw it stuck on the rubber edging,” trainee fisherman Noah Schroevers told the paper. “We took photos and put them online.”
The photo was spotted by Henk’s brother Martien, who said he recognised it immediately. “I phoned him straight away. It is wonderful that they have been reunited,” he said.
“I cried with happiness,” Kuiper told the Telegraaf.
How he lost the earring is unclear but it seems it stuck in the jumper he was wearing and slid into the sea. “I thought it was gone forever,” he said.
Kuiper said he would not start wearing the earring again. “I’m scared I will lose it a second time,” he told NH Nieuws. “So I am going to frame it instead.”
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