Boatbuilder hopes to recover lost phone

When the Swiftsure comes home, the man who built it is also hoping to be able to return a gift lent to the group who rowed the boat in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee regatta.

Ron Perano, of Blenheim, said the replica whaling skiff was in Nelson waiting to clear NZ Customs Service this week after travelling to London, where it was rowed by a crew of six students from Marlborough Boys' College in the June 3 regatta on the Thames, London.

During the event a mobile phone, on loan to the group from Marlborough man Jeff Sewell, was lost under the flooring below the boat seats. The phone had about £60-£70 (NZ$76-NZ$88) credit on it, but by the time they realised it was missing it was hours after the event, dark and raining, Mr Perano said.

Although he was sure he knew roughly where it was, the phone could not be found in another search, so it was left in the boat for the journey home.

Mr Perano hoped the boat would be back in Blenheim this week when he was planning to recover the phone. The boat needs repairs before two demonstration rows in Blenheim and Picton. The replica whaling skiff will eventually be housed in the Picton Museum.

The Marlborough Express