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No ordinary beach boy: He finds metal in the sands

Text and Photos by Long Kap, tkap@MiamiHerald.com


Amid the crowd of hundreds frolicking on Juno Beach, the northernmost corner of Palm Beach County, a hardworking man from the Czech Republic uses a metal detector to scan hot sand, searching for tiny pieces of metal to help people avoid injuries from walking on sharp shards.

Vyoral Hynek, 34, and his wife, Dana Splechtova arrived in Florida on Jan, 14 from the Czech Republic to visit her son in Boca Raton. Once every two days, Hynek and Splechtova prepare their detection device, pack lunch and go to work at the beach.

Hynek walks slowly along the beach, about 10 miles a day, using the metal detector on each dune. When the machine emits a tone, he uses a small shovel to find and dig pieces of metal.

Less than 10 minutes after following him, he picked up two sharp pieces of iron. Not far away, kids played, leaving tiny footprints in the sand.

"The first two weeks we spent in Key West and Naples also detecting the beaches there and then I moved on to other beaches. I do not want to sit on the beach or just sunbathe. Walking with metal detectors is more interesting. There are a lot of pieces metal on the beach. They come from sunken ships or from people's garbage,” Hynek said.

“I gather sharp metal pieces to help prevent injury for visitors, reducing the risk of barefoot people walking on the metal. I am not alone. There are some guys who work like me on the beaches.

"I also hope to find old coins on the beach, because I know many ancient ships sank under the ocean. Storms can wash ashore a few ancient coins to the beach and, if lucky, I can pick them. I like to collect coins."

Search2Hynek's machine, the Metal Detector Discovery 3300, costs about $200. He is ordering another in case his first machine malfunctions.

Hynek said that after two years of metal-detecting on the beach around the world, the oldest coin he has found from is from 13th century France. He keeps it at home as a souvenir.

Nearby, his wife, Splechtova, points to a food container.

"I prepared sandwiches, salads for him and we eat lunch on the beach. We feel happy even without a lot of money because we are together, walking on the beautiful beach, and it is important. We are doing something good for the community."

Splechtova said she has loved Florida since visiting for the first time in 1983.

In March, the couple will return to the Czech Republic, where he is a musical-events organizer and she is a physical therapist.

"In Florida, I scanned metal in Boca Raton beach, Delray Beach , Boynton Beach and Juno Beach, in the remaining time, I will continue to go to Hollywood and Miami to detect iron pieces on beach."

David Rotic, a tourist from Philadelphia, sees Hynek as a special traveler.

“We are thankful to him because of his job, reducing the risk of injury for kids playing on the beautiful beach in Florida,"  Rotic said.


More photos:


When the machine emits a tone, Hynek uses a small shovel to find and dig pieces of metal.



A tiny piece of iron found by the Metal Detector Discovery 3300.



The iron comes from sunken ships or from people's garbage.



There are lots of sharp metal pieces. Vyoral Hynek detected almost 100 of pieces a day


This is the place for Vyoral Hynek, and his wife, Dana Splechtova take a rest when they feel tired



The simple lunch that Dana Splechtova prepared at home.



Vyoral Hynek works eight hours a day, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.. He eats and drinks on the beach.



Vyoral Hynek walks around 10 miles per day to searching for metal.




Vyoral Hynek feels happy with his job because he says it's good for the community.


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