Marlborough woman reunited with stolen heirlooms thanks to snorkelling boys

A Marlborough woman is delighted to have stolen property returned to her, albeit via a circuitous route.

The stolen goods were retrieved from a river by two young boys who were snorkelling.

It was deep in the Pelorus River that the boys - Flynn Taylor, 12 and Mason Nicklin, 11, from Spring Creek near Blenheim - spotted something sparkling on the river bed.

"We were snorkelling around trying to see if we could find something cool," Flynn says.

"I couldn't get down that deep, that's why I tapped Mason on the shoulder, because he had fins on," Flynn says.

Mason dived down and pulled up a tapestry purse.

"We opened it and saw there were badges inside," Mason says.

"This is what we thought were crayfish eyes," Flynn adds.

The boys thought the purse and badges might be special to someone, so they took them to Mason's mum to have a closer look.

The purse had been stolen from Lee Charlett when her home was burgled just before Christmas.

"The thieves went right through the house," Ms Charlett says.

The purse has particular sentimental value because it was her mum's.

"They found all my beautiful passed mother's badges, from sporting things even, I see, [from] her high school. She was 97-and-a-half when she passed away in May."

Mason's mum, Raramai Nicklin, tracked Lee down after identifying one of the badges.

"I narrowed it down to Tahuna bowling club, asked if they knew a Beryl White," she says.

Turns out, they did.

Mason's mum says it's been a good lesson for the boys.

"For them to know that the badges have been returned to her is pretty cool, 'cause they obviously mean a lot to her and her family," she says.

Mason says it feel good to give something back to someone.

The boys have been rewarded with vouchers for their efforts.