A CAIRNS politician has had a chance to meet with the young tradie who discovered a relic from an accident that changed his life 30 years ago.

On Thursday, former Cairns MP and division two councillor Rob Pyne revealed that his old wallet, lost 30 years ago during the diving accident that rendered him quadriplegic, had been found washed up near the Yorkeys Knob boat ramp.

Mr Pyne had set off on a boating trip with his fiancee and in-laws and dived into the water, when he hit a sandbar and broke his neck.

The wallet was lost during the incident but was discovered this week during the construction of a new toilet block near the ramp.

Councillor and former MP Rob Pyne with his wallet and cards that were rediscovered after 30 years at Yorkeys Knob boat ramp this week. Picture: Stewart McLean
Councillor and former MP Rob Pyne with his wallet and cards that were rediscovered after 30 years at Yorkeys Knob boat ramp this week. Picture: Stewart McLean

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First-year Peter Hadley Plumbing apprentice Bernie Courtney, 27, discovered the wallet, which he found sitting near the mud around the worksite.

"It was on Tuesday afternoon; I was told to clean up the site and found it sitting in the mud," he said.

"I took it out and saw it was a wallet. We went through it and saw the old cards, the driver's licence and everything.

"I gave it to the boss who handed it in to the boat club, then later on we got a call from them saying 'you just found Rob Pyne's wallet'."

A wallet belonging to former Cairns councillor Rob Pyne, washed up from the Yorkeys Knob Boat Ramp. It dates back 30 years ago, around when Mr Pyne was injured in a diving accident. Picture: Facebook.
A wallet belonging to former Cairns councillor Rob Pyne, washed up from the Yorkeys Knob Boat Ramp. It dates back 30 years ago, around when Mr Pyne was injured in a diving accident. Picture: Facebook.

Mr Courtney said that despite having been submerged for years, the wallet was in surprisingly good condition, with everything looking completely legible after they had rinsed it off under the tap.

"You'd think he'd only lost it a week ago," he said.

Mr Pyne visited the boating club on Friday, which also happened to be his birthday, to meet Mr Courtney, and reminisce about how things had changed since that fateful day.

"I can't remember what the place looked like 30 years ago, it's changed a lot," he said.

"It looks like the rain we had recently might have washed some of the mud away, which was how he found it."

Mr Pyne noted that with the items in the wallet still intact and legible, it said a lot about the dangers of plastic in the waterways.

Originally published as Councillor thanks the man who dug up 30-year-old memento



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