New York Magnet Fishing Couple Lands $100K In Soaked C-Notes

A magnet fishing couple who document their exploits on their YouTube channel hauled a safe out of a New York City lake on May 31 that contained a hundred grand in waterlogged $100 bills.

James Kane and Barbie Agostini were magnet fishing at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the borough of Queens when they latched onto the safe, which they were able to crack open. Having hauled in safes before without finding any cash, they were shocked to discover “fat stacks” of hundreds wrapped in plastic and bundled with security bands. They called the New York Police Department (NYPD), which responded to the scene with multiple officers. After an investigation determined that the cash could not be traced and that no proof of a crime could be determined, the excited couple were told they could keep the money.

“I guess the finders keepers rule worked for us,” Kane said in an interview with

This is not Kane and Agostini’s first magnet rodeo. Interested in deep sea treasure hunting but deterred by the high startup costs, the couple turned to magnet fishing— “the poor man’s treasure hunting,” in Kane’s words—during the coronavirus pandemic. They’ve previously hauled in jewelry, watches, coins, a drone, a motorcycle, and multiple guns (some dating to the late 1800s). A World War II-era hand grenade they fished from the drink near the United Nations’ Manhattan headquarters resulted in a vigorous response from the NYPD bomb squad and was featured, like many of their more noteworthy finds, on LetsGetMagnetic, a YouTube channel that has drawn 1.4 million views since they launched it in 2023.

Video of the find showed what appears to be extensive damage to the cash, but ABC News reported that the couple plans to take the money to the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C., “where they believe it can be reconstructed.” According to the Bureau of Engraving & Printing, the federal agency that prints U.S. currency, holders of mutilated currency may receive a redemption at full value if “clearly more than 50% of a note identifiable as United States currency is present, along with sufficient remnants of any relevant security feature.” The bureau says it receives more than 22,000 requests for mutilated currency redemption annually on average.

According to the LetsGetMagnetic channel bio, a big part of the couple’s attraction to their newfound pastime is the potential ecological benefit: “Magnet fishing has become my new good feeling hobby and I love pulling things out of the water. Plus it helps the NYC waterways which desperately need some cleaning!” As their latest haul of hundos proves, getting garbage out of the city’s ponds, lakes and rivers isn’t the only “green” in magnet fishing.

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