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Fellow diver finds, returns wallet lost in Oklahoma lake 30 years ago

All contents still inside
Posted: 7:24 AM, Jul 04, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-05 20:05:06Z

GORE, Okla. — The adventure a local man took at a decades ago came rushing back after a diving team uncovered part of his past at the bottom of the lake.

Thomas Youell is an avid diver. He spent years learning the art of diving at Gene’s Aqua Pro. It’s at that shop where Youell found himself taking a trip down memory lane after a wallet he lost 30 years ago made its way back into his hands.

 “Oh it’s déjà vu, it’s just terrific,” Youell said. “I don’t remember anything about the date specifically. Just the effect it had on me.”

A recent dive lead by one of the shop's instructors, Courtney Neuhoefer, dug up a piece history Youell thought he’d lost forever — his wallet from the 1980s.

“It was a time capsule at this point,” Youell said.

All the contents inside were all still intact.

“I found a driver’s license, Pepsi Cola I.D. card, a pop-and-go movie rental card and some group insurance cards,” he said.

Neuhoefer said she was shocked to find the contents inside, but even more so to find the owner, a fellow diver.

She said she was on her last dive of the day and was retrieving the anchor to the boat. When she went to grab it, she said the wallet was sitting next to it.

diver said she brought the wallet to the surface and began looking through the contents. After finding Youell’s I.D., she said she found him on Facebook and noticed he had pictures diving at Lake Tenkiller in the exact spot she found the wallet.

“Divers are good at that,” Youell said. “We tend to mingle together fairly well.”

But the discovery is not about the wallet’s contents, but more so about Youell.

“I’m not surprised that it was returned at all,” Youell said. “I’ve returned everything I have ever found and I’ve had things returned to me.”

He hopes this is a lesson to everyone that good things happen to good people.

“It’s a kind of story that really benefits people to hear,” he said. “That we still do this.”