Giant inflatable duck Daphne found a week after going missing in Australia

Sophie Williams
Daphne the duck was found just off Rottnest Island, west of Perth: AFP/Getty Images

A giant inflatable duck that blew into the Indian Ocean has been found a week after going missing.

The duck was last seen during the early hours of March 11 at Coogee Beach in Perth, Australia, hours before she was set to be used as a turning point during a local swimming competition.

Despite reported sightings hundreds of miles away, Daphne the duck was found just off Rottnest Island, west of Perth.

A major search was launched after the inflatable, worth £500, initially went missing.

The duck's owners, Cockburn Masters Swimming Club launched an appeal on Facebook to look out for the inflatable. They offered free passes to next year’s event along with swimming merchandise if she was returned.

Club president Peter Marr described the moment the duck, the size of a caravan, was blown away by the wind.

He said he couldn’t keep up with the inflatable, adding: “I probably overestimated my ability and underestimated Daphne’s hunger for freedom and she just bolted.

“After 50 metres she was just gone baby, gone. I couldn’t keep up.”

Organisers of the Coogee Jetty to Jetty race were forced to find another marker to use as a turning point for those taking part as the search for Daphne continued.

Daphne was found by Tony Gibb who was on a fishing trip at the time. He towed Daphne behind his boat until it started becoming a nuisance and Mr Gibb decided to deflate the duck.

The inflatable has remained at his home ever since, reports the BBC.

Mr Gibb is set to meet Mr Marr on Wednesday to secure the return of Daphne.

Mr Marr says the club plans to give Mr Gibb a bottle of vodka, a family pass for the competition next year and some branded merchandise.