A video camera containing footage of a family on a Yorkshire beach which was found washed up 350 miles away has been claimed by its owner following a social media appeal.
The film of two children playing on Thornwick Bay, near Flamborough, in September turned out to feature two young siblings from Beverley. The video camera was washed into the sea during a family day out and drifted across the North Sea before beaching on a remote German island with just two inhabitants, who managed to retrieve the undamaged footage two months later. The boy in the footage, 10-year-old William Etherton, was recognised by a family friend after the story was picked up by the international media. His father Mark, 47, said: “I clicked on the article and realised it showed William looking at a rock pool. I just couldn’t believe the camera had been found – I couldn’t believe how far it had travelled. “I wouldn’t have thought it would have survived – we only payed about £50 for it so it’s quite remarkable.”
William lost the video camera – an SJCAM HD 1080P – while rock pooling with his grandmother Sharon, 57, and sister Polly, 12. The footage was found on Hallig Süderoog – one of a chain of low-lying islands off the north-east German coast known as the Halligs – by Roland Spreer. Roland, 67, a retired seaman, found the camera during a routine clean-up of the beach while covering for his son Holger, 37, and his partner Nele Wree, 34, – who are the island’s sole occupants. In the footage a young boy can be seen putting the camera down on the beach and then wandering off and playing with a bucket in rock pools with a young girl. About 15 minutes later footage shows it being washed into the sea by a small wave – where it rolls around picking up images of seaweed in the water. “William was so upset when he lost it – he’d bought it using some money from his great-grandfather a couple of Christmases ago. ”
When I got home his mum was like ‘William has something to tell you’. “He was so excited when he saw the article. “My daughter can’t believe it either – she can’t stop telling all her friends about it.” Since couple launched their social media appeal the Etherton family have become a social media sensation – with offers of media interviews coming from all directions. Mark, a project manager for the NHS, said: “William’s not too keen on all the attention really. It’s one of those viral things that you see and wonder why people are so interested but you don’t think it will happen to you. “We’ve had German TV news programmes wanting to film a re-enactment of when we lost it and their version of News Beat wanting to interview William. “We’ve been chatting with Holger and Nele about getting over to Germany in person to collect the footage. I realised I had not thanked them for going so out of their way – they were so pleased they were able to do something.”
SJCAM Camera Official Site: sjcam.com