Rehoboth Beach Patrol Saves Lives...And Vacations - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Rehoboth Beach Patrol Saves Lives...And Vacations

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REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – Families save hundreds of dollars to go on vacation during the summer, but imagine losing all of that money by accident.

That's what happened to the Knott family on Sunday. It was their first day of vacation, traveling all the way from Sharon, Pennsylvania. Like most vacationers, they immediately hit the beach. However, once they got back to the hotel, things immediately went downhill.

"I'm doing the search for my wallet and I go ‘Oh my God I don't have my wallet,'" says Paul Knott.

Not just a wallet – but a wallet that had more than $3,000 inside.

Knott had his family, along with the other family members they were staying with, search throughout their entire room. He retraced his steps back to the beach and was unsuccessful, then called beach patrol, only to hear they would not be open again until the next day.

"I thought, that's not good," says Knott. "You'd like to think that anybody on the beach would turn it in, but when there's that kind of money in there, I expected maybe to find my wallet empty."

Little did he know, beach patrol was one step ahead of him. Lifeguards Robert Nanovski and Jake Nichols came across the wallet towards the end of their shift. For them, the answer of what to do, was simple.

"It was just a state of shock seeing that amount of money in the wallet, honestly we had one choice to make and it was to get it back in the hands of the owner," says Nichols.

"We put some things in place, we found some items in his wallet," says Captain Kent Buckson with the Rehoboth Beach Patrol. "After we were done we knew his wife's name, we knew his kids, a lot of things about him. Before you know it, the gentleman was getting phone calls from all over the country."

Knott's secretary, all the way back in Pennsylvania, ended up telling him the good news.

"She says are you missing something and I went ‘Oh my God are you kidding me?'" says Knott. "This relief, this feeling, this sensation came about and it was just unbelievable, because it would had obviously ruined my vacation the first day. We kind of like saved that all year to bring the kids out to the beach."

Captain Buckson says he is confident many of his lifeguards would have done the same, along with most Rehoboth Beach vacationers.

"I like to think of most people good, we get a lot of wallets turned in a lot of cell phones," says Captain Buckson. "When you have that amount of cash in a wallet, cold cash, that that's very tempting, and that's a huge success story. I really appreciate their honesty and it turned out to be a great story."

Now, beach patrol has a big message for vacationers that may not end up as lucky.

"Follow our lead, be honest, be responsible, and turn it in to our lifeguards," says Captain Buckson. "If you are vacationing try to slow down and be careful about your valuables."

As for Robert and Jake, they did not end up completely empty-handed. Knott gave each of them $100 for their honesty.

"I watch what I'm doing but it was just a dumb mistake, and here it turns out to be a beautiful mistake," says Knott. "Thank God we have honest people."

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