SOLANO COUNTY (CBS13) – The power of social media helped reconnect a local man with his family’s treasure lost off the beaches of Waikiki more than 50 years ago.
“I dove around and looked for it and couldn’t find it,” said Alexander Morison, who now goes by Sandy.
The surf days have long just been a distant memory for Sandy, except for the day he lost his father’s cross.
It was 1966. While surfing the tide one afternoon he encountered a boat and was knocked around.
“He ran me right over. I dove off my board, he hit my board, he kind a hit my shoulder and I tumbled around and went under the water and I came up and the cross was gone,” he said.
Sandy was only 4-years-old when his father also named Alexander Morison, passed away.
There were only pictures left and the cross. Losing it was a secret he has buried for all these years.
“I was totally devastated, I was guilt-ridden, because I took it out of my mother’s jewelry box and I didn’t even ask permission to take the cross,” Sandy said.
But then came the oddest request of Facebook and from out of the blue.
“They messaged me and said, ‘Ever been to Hawaii? Did you ever lose anything? Did you lose this cross?'” he said.
Instantly he knew what it was.
“There was a picture with my dad’s name on it and I just lost it and hit the floor,” Sandy said choked up.
Lost all this time until a diver off Waikiki spotted a glimmer of hope.
“I looked back and saw this gold object,” said Jon Abila.
Dated back to 1932 and engraved with the name Alexander Morison, St. Agnes Choir. Abila knew it was something special.
“I felt like somebody earned it and wanted to get it to the rightful owner,” he said.
The two connected through social media. Sandy said it has been a miracle.
“He turned it in. He is such a righteous man and such a good spirit. It’s just amazing after 51 years,” he added.
His wife Rebecca can’t believe it either.
“It sank to the bottom of the ocean and it just stayed there and didn’t go anywhere for over 50 years until John came along and plucked it out of the coral,” she said.
For Sandy, it’s more than just sunken treasure. He now has back a piece of his father and a peace of mind.
“I feel absolutely blessed. I feel so humbled,” Sandy said.
Their story doesn’t end there.
A group on Facebook raised money and an airline pitched in to have Sandy and his wife meet the man who found the gold cross.
Sandy can’t wait to show his gratitude and get that cross back home where it belongs.