October 26, 2020

Amazing journey: Lost hard hat traveled 4,300 miles from Mississippi River to Irish beach!

A five-year, trans-Atlantic journey recently came to an end for, of all things, a hard hat emblazoned with some LSU Tiger love.

Louisiana resident and LSU fan Matthew Bonnette was reported working in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, near New Orleans, in 2015 when his customized, LSU hard hat fell into the Mississippi River.

No doubt he chalked it up to being lost forever. But amazingly, the hard hat floated more than 4,300 nautical miles before winding up on a rocky beach along the west coast of Ireland.

The hat was found by beachcomber Liam McNamara who is part of the Burren Shores Beachcombing & More Facebook group.

McNamara located the hat in Fanore, Co. Clare, Ireland, meaning the hat traveled down the Mississippi, out through the Gulf of Mexico and across the Atlantic Ocean.

Bonnette had the had customized with LSU’s purple and gold colors, making it quite distinctive.

McNamara posted photos of the hat to the Facebook group and soon a connection was made through the labor union whose sticker was still on the hat.

People with the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 25, helped figure out that it was Matthew’s lost hat from five years prior.

Bonnette’s wife, Nicolle, posted a comment about the amazing find on social media.

“He lost the hard hat right before our son was born in 2015, and he will be five years old on April 18th!” she wrote. “That means that the hard hat has been on it’s journey as long as our son has been alive! TRULY AMAZING!!!”

McNamara is shipping the hat back to Bonnette, who no doubt will enjoy having the hat back as a keepsake, particularly since LSU’s football team claimed the national championship this past football season.