Lost surfboard that washed up on Scottish Island travelled more than 400 miles in the North Sea

A surfboard that washed up on a Shetland beach last year has been returned to its rightful owner - who lost it more than 400 miles away.

The nine-foot board drifted away from Lee Brogan in late November, when the leash tethering it to him snapped as he was surfing at Runswick Bay, Teeside, in the north east of England.

The Walden surfboard then appears to have travelled more than 400 miles across the North Sea, before washing ashore five weeks later on a beach near the small village of Skeld in West Shetland.

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It was there that it was discovered on December 28 by Stephanie Riise, 22, and her partner, Jake Anderson, 23, who began an online hunt for its owner.

After tracking Mr Brogan down on Facebook, Ms Riise, who work at the local Clydesdale bank, began organising a way to return the board to him.

“There’s a Facebook page called Shetland Seashore Discoveries that I’m part of,” Ms Riise told The Scotsman, “so I posted photos of the board on there.

“After less than an hour I had people messaging me telling me it was Lee’s board!

“He messaged me the next morning to prove it belonged to him and we started looking into ways of having it sent back to him.

A surfboard that washed up on a Shetland beach last year has been returned to its rightful owner - who lost it more than 400 miles away.
A surfboard that washed up on a Shetland beach last year has been returned to its rightful owner - who lost it more than 400 miles away.

Ms Riise said the speed with which the internet allowed her to find Mr Brogan was “unbelievable”.

She added: “he was so shocked it had turned up. He really did think it was gone for good!”

Joel Friedlander, owner of J.F. Courier UK, offered his services to carry the board the more than 530 miles between Shetland and Teeside.

The 40-year-old, from Lerwick, packed the board in the back of his truck for the 18 hour journey, which included a 12-hour-long ferry crossing.

The Walden surfboard then appears to have travelled more than 400 miles across the North Sea, before washing ashore five weeks later on a beach near the village of Skeld, West Shetland.

He told The Scotsman that Mr Brogan was “like a child at Christmas” when the board was finally returned to him.

“Lee told me what happened,” Mr Friedlander explained, “but with all the rules - and it was raining when I got there - it was not a night for standing out in the rain!”

The Surfer told The Shetland News that he was “so stoked” to finally get it back.

“I could hardly believe that it’d turned up.

Joel Friedlander, owner of J.F. Courier UK, offered his services to carry the board the more than 530 miles between Shetland and Teeside.

“I’m especially happy that Stephanie, who found the board, was willing to send it back to me.”

Mr Brogan was worried that the cost of returning the surfboard would run into the hundreds of pounds, before Mr Friedlander offered to make the trip at a heavily discounted rate.

The returned surfboard was in “surprisingly good condition considering how far it travelled,” according to its grateful owner.

“It needs a few small ding repairs and a bit of a repaint, but other than that it’s fully intact,” he said.

“I’m ecstatic to be back in possession of my baby,” he added.

Ms Riise said she and her partner were “chuffed” that the board had been reunited with Mr Brogan.

The returned surfboard was in “surprisingly good condition considering how far it travelled,” according to its grateful owner.

“Seeing Lee so thankful and appreciative has really made it worthwhile.”

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