A retired police officer who was heartbroken when thieves stole his Exemplary Service Medal last year was stunned when kind strangers tracked him down after they pulled it from a river in a “one-in-a-million” catch.
82-year-old Geoffrey Barron was devastated when burglars entered his home to steal valuables—and took the treasured medal that he’d been awarded when he retired 28 years ago.
He believed the medal, given for 32 years of service with the Northamptonshire Police, was lost forever.
But the grandfather was overjoyed when he received a call last week saying the medal had been found in a river, still in its metal box.
Dave Jordan who uses a large magnet to fish junk out of rivers had organized another litter clean-up and was joined by a teenage fan of his YouTube channel, who brought along his dad to trawl for treasures in the River Nene.
The 45-year-old Jordan said they had been pulling things out of the river in Northampton for just 30 minutes when Ryan fished out a small blue metal box.
“We would have never of found the medal if we hadn’t tackled all the rubbish in the river first,” said Jordan. “At first, we found old bits of shopping carts and other metal items but about 30 minutes into our fish, Ryan pulled out the box, and it’s got ‘police long service medal’ written on it.”
“It really was like finding a needle in a haystack,” exclaimed Jordan who is followed by hundreds of fans who subscribe to his magnet fishing channel on YouTube.
The medal was engraved with Geoffrey’s name and badge number, which they used to track the senior’s phone number online.
“When I told Geoffrey’s wife Maureen we had found the medal over the phone, she was over the moon, because they never thought it would be found.
“This was truly the best reward for cleaning up that rubbish… It’s amazing.”
WATCH: Teen Finds a Safe Containing Thousands on Bottom of River – Tracks Down Owner Who’d Been Robbed 22 Years ago
He and Ryan, 17, are now planning to visit this weekend and reunite the medal with Geoffrey, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.
It is believed the thieves dumped the box in the river after realizing the medal would be difficult to sell.
Maureen said, “We were heartbroken when we came home and found our house burgled.
“They had stolen jewelry, cash and our passports, but the most sentimental thing we lost was Geoffrey’s police service medal.
“When I told Geoffrey about the medal being found, his little eyes sparkled.
LOOK: While Fishing, 11-yo Boy Reels in a Purse Lost 25 Years Ago… and Returns it to Owner
“My husband has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t remember everything—but that medal to say he served for 32 years, he does remember.
“His face lit up when I told him we got it and it was going to be presented to him by the young man who found it.
“I can’t wait for Geoffrey to have the medal back in his hand again.”
RELATED: Bored With Catching Fish, Man Takes Up Magnet Fishing to Collect Scrap Metal and Sell It to Benefit Kids With Autism
Jordan summed up the experience, saying, “Finding the medal after doing the good deed we did, that’s the message here.”
CAST A LINE of Kindness Over to Social Media By Sharing the Good News…
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