March 2, 2024

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Specialists in technology

Norwich paddleboarder reunited with lost-at-sea phone via Facebook

Matty and Holly Bray

image copyrightMatty Bray

image captionA photo of a smiling couple was put on social media to try to find the phone’s owner

A phone that was fished out of the sea has been reunited with its owner after its rescuer posted pictures she found in it on social media.

Emma Gilman found the device floating in its protective case while paddling at Bacton in Norfolk.

The phone was locked but she found photos on the memory card and put some on Facebook to try to trace the owner.

She said she was “ecstatic” when Matty Bray came forward 20 minutes later to claim the phone he had lost in July.

Mr Bray, 39, said Mrs Gilman was “an absolute legend”.

He had been paddleboarding near Bacton on 18 July, when he lost the phone.

image copyrightMatty Bray
image captionMatty Bray (front) lost his phone while paddleboarding between Mundesley and Bacton

Mrs Gilman was at the beach on 31 July when she spotted the Samsung Galaxy.

“I was expecting someone to come running over to claim it, but no-one did so I took it out of the case, and although there was some grit and sand inside, it came on – and then went off again,” she said.

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O2 suggested she take it to one of their shops as it had been reported as missing.

“We’d been pretty strict during lockdown and I wasn’t keen to go into shops, so I put it in a drawer and didn’t think about it until this weekend,” Mrs Gilman said.

“I put the memory card in my phone and there were loads of pictures but nothing really gave me any clues, so I put a few on Facebook and asked people to share.

“Hundreds did, and within 20 minutes Matty had messaged to say it was his.”

image copyrightMatty Bray
image captionPhotos of Matty Bray and his wife Holly were among dozens found on the phone
image copyrightEmma Gilman
image captionMrs Gilman gave Mr Bray his phone and he thanked her with flowers and bubbly

She said she could “hardly believe” they both lived within a couple of miles of each other in Norwich, so she took the phone to him.

“Of course it would have been exciting to think the phone had travelled for miles from a famous person’s yacht – or even as far as Grimsby would have been good – but we were both ecstatic and it was great to return it.”

Mr Bray, an NHS blood service worker, said: “I never thought I’d see it again. Then I saw a lot of missed calls from quite a lot of friends in the paddleboarding group – it’s a brilliant community,” he said.

“I don’t think I’ll be taking the phone with me next time I go paddleboarding.”

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Related Topics

  • Facebook

  • Paddleboarding
  • Mobile phones
  • Norwich
  • Mundesley
  • Bacton

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