Lundy divers reunite Doug with his lost hat

THE strange tale of a lost cap has had a happy ending for Torridge District Council officer Doug Jenkin, if not for its adopted owner - a spider crab! Doug, the council s property and procurement manager, occasionally organises outings for staff members

THE strange tale of a lost cap has had a happy ending for Torridge District Council officer Doug Jenkin, if not for its adopted owner - a spider crab!

Doug, the council's property and procurement manager, occasionally organises outings for staff members, such as their recent trip to Lundy on the MS Oldenburg.

On the trip he wore his favourite old cloth cap - drawing derisory comments from his colleagues about its style and condition and even suggestions that he should throw it away.

One colleague took this literally and, on the way back, whipped the cap off Doug's head and threw it into the deep.


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Doug was not a happy man. "The hat was very dear to me. I used to play tennis in it," he said.

So he went to the vessel's first mate Brian Slade and asked if he and his colleagues could keep an eye open in case the cap should wash up somewhere and could be recovered.

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He did not have high hopes.

But Brian mentioned the cap to Lundy manager Derek Green and, when diving with friends three weeks later, the cap was discovered eight metres underwater and occupied by a new owner, the spider crab!

"It is rather the worse for wear, with the rim of the peak frayed away," said Doug. "But the chances of finding it at all must have been huge.

Doug is so delighted to be reunited with his cap that he is intending to buy a crate of beer for its finders.

He fears, however, that the story may yet take another twist.

"When you see the condition of the cap you will not be surprised to hear that my wife Dee has already threatened to throw it away herself at the earliest opportunity," he said.

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