MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — One Mobile County man started a business returning lost disc golf discs to enthusiasts of the sport.
He goes into the waters of local parks fishing them out, but it is some of the other discoveries that surprised him.
“There’s just some things you find and it’s just weird,” said Matthew Dudley.
Matthew Dudley began diving in the waters surrounding local disc golf courses around three years ago.
“I actually started doing this a few years ago, I lost a disc playing with some of my friends and my friend told me I needed to get that disc back, I told him I didn’t want to get in the water, I’m not going to do that, I’ll just buy you a new disc. He explained to me ‘no I need that disc.’ And so, I went in and got it that first day at Municipal and found about 16 discs. That’s what started all of this,” he said.
He goes into the water feeling around blindly for discs golfers threw who missed their mark, causing their discs to land in the water. He goes to great lengths to make sure they’re returned to their owners.
He says he’s collected thousands of discs the past few years and started a new hobby playing the sport himself. “This is basically the Mecca of disc golf in the south,” Dudley said.
Dudley says a gun was the last thing he expected to find in the water at Langan Park.
“I wasn’t sure what it was. I could feel it with my feet because I can’t see anything,” Dudley said.
He found the gun in December 2019. “I reached down, and when I reached back up I thought it was a power tool or something, and I noticed it was a firearm and put it on the bank and called the police,” he said.
He’s found a lot of discs and trash but never expected to find a gun. “I wasn’t going to not report it. If it’s been in the water, you’d think something bad’s happened with it obviously,” Dudley said.
Just a few months later, he found a second gun.
“The second one that I found had a clip in it, had ammunition in it, so as soon as the policeman cleared it, I thought man I could have gotten shot, or say a kid was there to get their disc back, it could have been the same thing,” Dudley said.
Mobile police say one of the guns Dudley found was stolen during a residential burglary. The suspect had been arrested already. The other gun has never been reported stolen.
“That’s not what you expect to find at a park, you just wouldn’t expect to find a gun,” Dudley said.
Mobile police say most recovered guns they get calls for are from people who had a police chase through their yard. They say it is rare to get a call for a gun found in a body of water.