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Video Shows Popular Magnet Fisher Pull Safe Out of Canal
Leah Webber, who goes by Bondi Treasure Hunter on the socials, is fond of saying “Anything could be anywhere!”—a motto he proves true time and time again. In a July 2020 story already covered in Newsweek, Webber and his buddies, Dennis and Ramon, visit a spot in an Amsterdam canal where over 40 safes had been previously found.
Webber, who is originally from Australia, and who borrows his name from Bondi, Australia’s busiest beach, found that this particular safe was nearly his match. A more than two-year-old YouTube video shows the treasure hunter facing an epic battle to remove the safe from the riverbed.
He and his team unsuccessfully attempt to use ropes, grappling hooks, magnets, and even a Volkswagen to drag the safe out of the river. Finally, they call in a crane.
When at last they get inside the safe, they are surprised to find it is filled with dirty pieces of plastic. After wiping away some of the mud, Webber discovers that these are actually protective cases containing coins.
“There’s a coin in there,” he shouts. “That’s money!”
In a second follow-up video, Webber reports his discovery to the police, and learns that the cache was stolen more than 20 years ago.
The collection of coins says “Hortus Bonaticus 1682—1982 Amsterdam.” The name refers to the botanical gardens of Amsterdam.
The coins, made in 1982, are worth about £30,80 each. There were only 500 made as a commemorative coin for the 300-year anniversary of the botanical gardens—Hortus Botanicus—one of Amsterdam’s main attractions
The Amsterdam city council founded the Hortus Botanicus in 1638 to serve as an herb garden for doctors and apothecaries. Physicians and pharmacists received their training and even took exams there.
in 1987 the garden nearly went bankrupt when the University of Amsterdam stopped paying its expenses, but a community of individual donors prevented its closure. The Hortus Botanicus is now supported by the Amsterdam City Council.
In one of Webber’s more recent videos, he travels around the Netherlands, pulling discarded bicycles out of the canals. Up to 15,000 bicycles are pulled out of the water each year, as many people prefer to throw their broken bikes into the water, rather than dispose of them properly.
Amsterdam’s concentric canal system is one of the country’s most iconic landmarks, attracting millions of annual visitors, so it is no wonder that it is also a hot spot for treasure seekers.
In fact, Amsterdam’s local government has to regularly dredge up these discarded bikes in order to keep the canals safe and accessible.
The Bondi Treasure Hunter YouTube channel regularly racks up millions of views. In a recent video from September 9, 2022, Webber visits the world’s biggest magnet fishing event, where he and several other treasure seekers team up for charity to pull several bicycles—and even two motorcycles—out of a canal in England.