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Optician Goes to Great Depths

Wednesday, 02 May 2012

When a fisherman dropped his glasses into Swansea Marina, Wales, a Specsavers optician went above and beyond to retrieve the lost specs.

Mike Richardson, aged 69, from Pocketts Wharf in Swansea, was working on a friend's boat in the marina when his £250 prescription glasses slipped and fell into the depths.

Believing he'd never see the specs again he resigned himself to ordering a new pair, but when local optician and director of Specsavers Port Talbot, Nick King, heard about the accident he decided to take matters into his own hands.

Having spent five years as a commercial diver before becoming an optometrist and diving as a HSE III qualified British Sub-Aqua Club national instructor, Nick used 31 years of experience to plunge into the depths and find Mike's lost glasses 20 feet down at the bottom of the Marina. He emerged clutching the specs after a five minute search.   

Mike says: 'When my glasses fell into the water I really didn't think I'd see them again! I thought I'd have to find the money to buy a new pair, but luckily my friend knew Nick and called him for advice.

'I didn't really know what to expect, but he arrived within two hours of the call, quickly put on his full diving gear and started searching the Marina in the area around the boat.

'We thought he'd never find them because it's very murky water down there and the frames are dark so they'd have been extremely hard to see. After five minutes there were quite a few people gathered at the scene to watch and we were all amazed when Nick came up from the freezing water with my glasses! No one could believe it when we found out that Nick was actually an optician from the local Specsavers!'

The glasses with reactions lenses, which were fine to use after a quick wash, are now put back to good use when Mike's at work on the boat. Mike added: 'I'm extremely grateful to Nick for returning my glasses to me and I will be sure to find some way to fixing them to my face whilst working on my boat!'

Nick says: 'I've always had a passion for diving and when I heard about Mike's predicament I couldn't resist helping him out.

'I have dived all over the world, including places like the Mediterranean, Middle East, Far East, Caribbean and Pacific, but I'd say that my dive in Swansea's Marina was really quite unique, as I was able to use my diving skills to help a Specsavers patient in such an exceptional way!

'Glasses retrieval isn't normally part of the Specsavers service, but in this case I'm happy to have obliged and taken customer service to new depths, quite literally!'

- Ends -


Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf of Specsavers


Specsavers notes to editors


  • Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world. The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their son John is joint managing director.
  • Specsavers has more than 1,600 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group was £1.5 billion for 2010/2011 and is forecast to reach £1.6 billion in 2011/2012.
  • 7.6m customers used Specsavers in 2011 - more than in any other year.
  • Specsavers Optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners.  Together, they offer both optical and hearing services under one roof.
  • Specsavers employs more than 30,000 staff.
  • Specsavers was voted Britain's most trusted brand of opticians for the tenth year running by the Reader's Digest Trusted Brands survey 2011.
  • More than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers* - 10,800,000 glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2011.
  • Specsavers was ranked No 1 for both eye tests and glasses in the UK*.
  • Specsavers is the largest retail provider of home delivery contact lenses in Europe and one of the top two retail suppliers of continuous wear lenses in the world.
  • Specsavers is now the largest retail dispenser of digital hearing aids in the UK and offers a hearing service from more than 400 locations.
  • Specsavers supports numerous optical and hearing charities, including Guide Dogs and Hearing for Deaf People.  During its three-year support for Diabetes UK it raised more than £250,000 to fund various projects.
  • Since 2003 more than a quarter of a million glasses have been collected and recycled by Specsavers stores for Vision Aid Overseas, for use in developing countries.  Specsavers has raised over £550,000 for the charity since 2006, with almost £250,000 going towards its work in Zambia.