A WALKER drowned his sorrows when his beloved hat flew out to sea — only to get it back hours later.
Richard Beer, 74, went for a pint after his battered Panama floated away — while his wife Linda was thrilled as she hated it.
Richard said: “It’s a bit tatty and not exactly a prime piece of sartorial wear. It’s just a straw hat, but I love it.”
He thought it had gone forever when a gust of wind whipped it away while he walked along a jetty and sent it into the sea 20ft below in Broadstairs, Kent.
He recalled: “I uttered an expletive but there was no getting it back. I thought, ‘That’s the end of that’.”
Meanwhile, his wife was delighted to get a text from him saying the hat was “on its way to France”.
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Richard walked to town and sank a pint before wandering back to the beach to see if he could see it hours later.
And to his disbelief, he spotted his soggy Panama perched on a post outside another pub.
The retired advertising photographer, from Dartford, added: “It was still damp and very sandy.
“I imagine someone had found it on the beach and put it on this post in the hope that I might find it, which I did.
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“This speaks to the kindness of strangers.
“Nobody’s come forward to say, ‘It was me’, but if they do I’ll take them for a pint — providing they can prove it was them.
“As for my hat, it’s now back in its normal resting place and I’ll be wearing it with impunity from now on.”
Linda said: “It’s become a famous hat. I will never complain about it again.”