Globe-trotting for-sale sign lost at sea during Hurricane Sandy finds its way from France to New Jersey

Realtor Diane Turton's sign washed ashore in France 6 years after destructive Hurricane Sandy set it adrift

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Nearly six years and one trip around the world later, a Realtor’s sign washed away during Hurricane Sandy has finally made the long journey home to New Jersey.

The sign, which New Jersey Realtor Diane Turton’s brokerage put up in front of a house it was selling back in 2012, was washed away during the massive hurricane that hit the East Coast that October. Blown away in the wind, Turton’s sign was but a tiny victim of a storm that left millions homeless, caused billions of dollars in property damages and prompted power outages across the region.

But as it turns out, the sign was not fully lost to sea: back in June, Belgian citizen Hannes Frank discovered the sign washed ashore on a beach in Bordeaux, France. Frank then sent an email to Turton’s brokerage, which has over 425 agents and 18 New Jersey offices, based on the contact information that he could make out on the half-broken sign.

Bruce and Diane Turton, along with their Marketing Director, Perry Beneduce, travel to France to meet Hannes Frank who discovered their signage on the beach in Bordeaux on May 18th, 2018.

Posted by Diane Turton, Realtors on Thursday, August 16, 2018

After confirming the sign’s longitude and latitude based on Frank’s photos, Turton booked a flight to France with her husband Bruce and her firm’s marketing director Perry Beneduce, local news outlet Patch.com reports. By then, the sign had already caused a flurry of excitement in Turton’s real estate circles. After meeting with Frank, she brought it back home — by plane, this time.

“It traveled all the way from New Jersey to here,” Frank said in a video posted on Turton’s page, pointing to the spot of beach where he found the sign.

Diane Turton, Realtors Retrieves Their Sign From France

Bruce and Diane Turton, Owners/Founders, Diane Turton, Realtors, along with their Marketing Director Perry Beneduce, traveled to France to meet with Hannes Frank, the Belgian resident who found the Diane Turton, Realtors real estate sign on the beach in Bordeaux, France.

Posted by Diane Turton, Realtors on Friday, August 17, 2018

Once home, Turton’s team used the cell phone numbers on the sign to track down the property where the sign had come from. Research efforts eventually brought them to a long-sold house in Wall Township that lost the sign in the 2012 storm. As it turns out, the sign was blown into the nearby Manasquan River and, over nearly six years, traveled across the Atlantic Ocean to the shores of France.

“It is so nice to know someone would take the time to do that [contact the brokerage] in this day and age,” Beneduce told Patch.com. “It’s also nice to know that our signs will stand the test of time.”

Now that the sign is back in New Jersey, Turton’s team vowed to put it in a museum.

Email Veronika Bondarenko