Camera to be reunited with boy after 500-mile journey over North Sea
A camera that filmed itself setting off on a 500-mile journey across the North Sea after being left behind on a beach in Yorkshire is being reunited with its boy owner.
The waterproof camera, which was swept up by the tide at Thornwick Bay in east Yorkshire on 1 September, spent two months travelling across Doggerland before beaching on the shore of Süderoog, a tiny German island in the Wadden Sea.
The island’s two inhabitants, coastal protection officers Nele Wree and Holger Spreer, uploaded an 11-minute clip showing the start of the SJCAM action camera’s odyssey to Süderoog’s Facebook page and appealed for help in finding its rightful owner.
Now, after a 12-day search, Spreer and Wree have announced they have been contacted by the father of a 10-year-old boy called William, from the Hull area, who was alerted by a friend who had read about the story in the Guardian.
On Monday Spreer and Wree received a photo identifying the boy as the one seen in the camera clip, along with the message: “Hi. The action camera is the one my son lost whilst out with his Nanna at Thornwick Bay.”
William had been given the camera for Christmas in 2016 and is now likely to be reunited with the device on Christmas Day this year.
Spreer and Wree have invited William and his family to Süderoog, suggesting they could pick up the camera in person. “We thought that would be a fitting way to end this story,” Wree told the Guardian.
William’s father has expressed an interest in taking up the offer, saying he would “prefer to fly” than drift across the North Sea for two months like the camera.
Such a reunion may prove tricky, however. The 60-hectare (150-acre) island of Süderoog can only be reached by boat from the Nordstrand peninsula. A protected bird reserve, the island is not allowed to host any visitors overnight, and guests spending more than an hour on the island need a special permit.