Magnet fishing has become a popular trend in treasure hunting over the past two years, as evidenced by the proliferation of YouTube channels covering the activity. Enthusiasts simply attach high-powered magnets to strong ropes, drop them into waterways, and wait to see what they attract.
The pastime has garnered attention from law enforcement and government agencies, as urban waterways are a popular location for criminals to dispose of weapons and stolen items following a crime. In fact, a magnet fisherman in Michigan once found an antique World War I mortar grenade that required the bomb squad to investigate.
Recently, fifteen-year-old George Tindale and his father, Kevin, 52, from Grantham, Lincolnshire in the U.K., made an incredible discovery when they used two magnets to pull up a safe submerged in the River Witham. George has his own popular magnet fishing YouTube channel called “Magnetic G.”
After the father-son duo retrieved the safe from the murky depths, they used a crowbar to crack it open and found approximately $2,500 Australian dollars (US$1,800), a shotgun certificate, and credit cards that expired in 2004. The Tindales used the name found on the cards to locate the safe’s owner, Rob Everett.
The safe was stolen in the year 2000 #magnetfishinghttps://t.co/khYRDtoTdl— Grantham Journal (@GranthamJournal) April 22, 2022
The safe had been stolen from Everett during an office robbery in 2000 and then dumped into the river. “I remember at the time, they smashed into a cabinet to get to the safe,” Everett said. “I was just upset that there was a nice pen on my desk, a Montblanc that was never recovered.” The thief, a teenage boy, was quickly caught because he left behind a cap with his name stitched inside.
The father and son met up with Everett to return his stolen money, and the businessman rewarded George for his honesty by offering him an internship at his wealth management company. Everett was impressed by the math skills George displayed in the YouTube video, where he counted the Australian dollars. “What’s good about it is, I run a wealth management company, and I’d love him to work for us,” Everett said.
Despite the fact that the safe had been stolen over two decades ago, its recovery has renewed Everett’s faith in humanity. “I was just amazed that they’d been able to track me down,” he said. “There are some really nice and good people in this world. They could have kept the money; they could have said they attempted to get hold of me. There’s a big lesson there. It teaches George that doing good and being honest and giving back is actually more rewarding than taking.”
For George, the appeal of magnet fishing extends beyond treasure hunting. According to his mother, the hobby has also taught him about water pollution and its impact on local wildlife. “George is very environmentally conscious. He always has been since primary school,” she said. “When he first started to do this, he was after treasure. Everything ends up in the rivers and canals.”