Over 50 take part in Underwater Treasure Hunt

Posted on Nov 17 2022

Participants of the first ever Underwater Treasure Hunt pose for a group photo last Nov. 5 at Pau Pau Beach. (MARK RABAGO)

The first ever Underwater Treasure Hunt last Nov. 5 at Pau Pau Beach in San Roque was a complete success.

AQUASMITH Spearfishing general manager Morito Asai said a total of 51 children took part in the underwater scavenger hunt for real vintage coins.

“I’m very happy with the turnout. We had  51 kids. We limited the treasure hunt to 2-3 coins per person so others can still have a chance to get the coins,” he said. 

AQUASMITH Spearfishing organized the inaugural Underwater Treasure Hunt with Islands Keepers CNMI to encourage the younger generation to engage in ocean activities by giving them a safe and fun experience.

And by all accounts the goal was achieved as participants enjoyed every minute of the underwater scavenger hunt.

“It was very fun and exciting. I didn’t expect to win a fishing rod,” said 11-year-old Anton Tiwlighyong Nagasaki Ragopes.

Peter Phair said his favorite part was the excitement in finding the coins.  

“It was really fun. It was pretty hard to find the coins but they were really cool looking and not like anything we see here.  Searching in the water made it more of a challenge. They also really talked about the corals a lot and said it’s important to be careful around them and pay attention anytime you’re in the water swimming or whatever. I’m glad I got to go, this was different and nothing event was like this,” said the 13-year-old.

 Ryusei Asai seemed to agree with Phair a lot.

“My favorite part was looking for the coins, even though it was hard to find them. I found one gold and two silver. We also had a mini-raffle for picking up cigarette butts. Win win! Got a prize and cleaned the beach!” said the 11-year-old. 

 Organizers specially ordered 100 silver coins and 15 gold coins for participants of the treasure hunt to search for. 

The 15 gold coins that were scattered in the waters off Pau Pau Beach were 1973-1980 uncirculated Egyptian coins, while the 100 silver coins were Buffalo nickels circa 1913-1938.

The prizes given away during the raffle included gift certificates from sponsors for hobie cat cruising, kayak/SUP board rentals, snorkeling lessons, food tickets, flashlights, cooler bags, portable fish scales, masks and snorkel sets, and more. 

“We really want to encourage the younger generation to engage in ocean activities, so they can be interested in any kind of fishing and marine activities, or marine life, environment, etc. We want to do this annually and see the results every decade,” Asai earlier said.

The sponsors of the first-ever Underwater Treasure Hunt and they were Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, Tasi to Table, Fishing Tackle, Saltys Saipan, FishGuyz Scuba & Charter, Oleai Beach Bar & Grill, Dayoff, Seawind Marine Sports, Zen Corp., Aqua Connections, Marianas Apnea Spearfishing Club, Division of Coastal Resources Management, and Division of Parks and Recreation.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at Mark_Rabago@saipantribune.com
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