Courtesy of Coogee Jetty to Jetty Swim/Cockburn Masters Swimming Club
A beloved mascot of a western Australian city has finally returned home after being lost at sea.
The giant inflatable duck that belongs to the Cockburn Masters Swimming Club, lovingly called Daphne, went missing off the coast of Coogee Beach, in Perth, Australia, on March 11.
Daphne was blown away by strong winds as preparations were taking place for the 22nd annual Coogee jetty to jetty swim competition. According to The New York Times, Peter Marr, the club’s president, tried to swim after the $900 star of the event, but couldn’t keep up.
“After 50 meters she was just gone, baby, gone,” Marr told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The event Facebook page posted a plea for help to find Daphne as rumors floated around about her whereabouts. At one point, people reported to have seen her as far as 270 miles away.
Help us try and find our beloved Daphne…
Posted by Coogee Jetty to Jetty Swim XXII on Thursday, March 15, 2018
Daphne was finally found by local fisherman, Tony Gibb, about 30 to 40 kilometers (about 20 miles) west of Rottnest Island only about an hour after she went missing. At first, he wasn’t sure who the inflatable duck belonged to until the club contacted him, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Marr had planned to meet with Gibb to retrieve the duck last Wednesday, and she has finally returned home on Monday.
Next year, Daphne will be tied down with some stronger rope.