Purse lost on whale-watching tour found in fishing net months …

Purse lost on whale-watching tour found in fishing net months …
Kansas City Star (subscription) – Kansas City,MO,USA

found in fishing net months later

BY ROBERT NOLIN

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – (KRT) – As purse-snatchings go, hers was an odd one. A gust from the North Atlantic ripped Arlene Sulkes-Spieler’s purse from her arm and flung it into the ocean.

As fishing hauls go, his was even odder. From 600 feet in the cold dark sea, Vincent Russo retrieved the big red bag in a net full of flopping haddock.

“It’s kind of an unbelievable story,” Sulkes-Spieler said.

The Hollywood retiree was ultimately reunited with the purse’s contents – including more than $500 in cash.

The handbag’s soggy sojourn started in August, when Sulkes-Spieler was vacationing with her husband Abraham off the coast of Cape Cod on a whale-watching tour.

“Pretty boring,” she said. “It was windy and cold.”

Then things turned interesting.

“I heard a whooosh, and the wind blew my bag off my arm,” Sulkes-Spieler recalled. “I looked down and there was my bag in the middle of the ocean.” The red tapestry purse paused a moment, then dipped beneath the waves.

“People said I’m never going to see it again,” she said.

They were wrong.

More than three months later, Russo, owner and captain of the fishing vessel Miss Trish II, was about 20 miles off the Cape, scouring the 600-foot bottom with nets, angling for flounder or haddock. A commotion erupted among his five-man crew when they emptied a net on the deck.

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