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Lost wallet returned to British Columbia man after 33 years

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May 23 (UPI) -- A 14-year-old boy fishing with friends at the Comox Marina on British Columbia's Vancouver Island ended up with an unexpected catch -- a wallet that had been lost 33 years earlier.

Nick Chowdhury said he was fishing at the Comox Marina in 1991 when he set his wallet down on the rocks to prevent it from falling into the water.

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"One summer day, I grabbed my fishing rod and went out to the Comox Marina when the tide was low," he told the Comox Valley Record.

"I hopped over the edge of the dock onto the breakwater rocks. As I started walking my wallet, which was in my front pocket, was sticking out of my shorts. So I looked at a spot and I remember holding my wallet and gently putting it down thinking 'This is the spot, I gotta remember this.'"

Chowdhury said he was dismayed when he returned hours later to find no sign of his wallet -- or its hard-to-replace contents.

"I had everything in there: my birth certificate, my status card, social insurance card -- everything that was me was in that wallet," he told CTV News.

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Chowdhury was eventually forced to give up the search and go home. He ended up buying an identical replacement wallet a few weeks later.

The mystery finally came to a close this month when Chowdhury received a Facebook message from a man named Bill Lee, who explained his 14-year-old son, Jamie, had discovered the long-lost billfold while fishing at the Comox Marina.

Jamie Lee said he and his friends were digging through the rocks because one of the youths had dropped the controller for an electric skateboard.

"I told my friends 'Guys, I just found someone's wallet.' I picked it up, opened it and it was super crusty. There were holes in it and it was hard to open," Lee said.

The wallet's contents turned out to be well-preserved, and Lee enlisted the help of his dad after discovering all the identifying documents.

"I called my dad because this guy must have lost his wallet forever ago and I just wanted to get it back to him," Lee said.

Chowdhury said he thought the Facebook message was a scam until Bill Lee sent him a photo of his old ID.

"I was blown away," he said.

Bill Lee was able to deliver the wallet back into Chowdhury's hands.

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"It's like a blast from the past," Chowdhury said. "In fact, I was recently thinking of going again and bringing my kids. Back then I wasn't driving, so I rode my bike and everything was in my pockets. But now I'm going to drive out and leave anything that's valuable, like wallets, in the car."

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