IT sounds like the beginning of a fairy tale, a beautiful mermaid exits Mandurah’s waters, only to find her possessions have been stolen by an evil doer.
Professional mermaid Jessica Pearl had exactly that happen recently while performing at a children’s birthday party.
Her car keys, mobile phone, fin bag and costume pieces were stolen from Keith Holmes reserve on December 20.
Mermaid Jess (real name Jessica Bell) lives out of town, but said Mandurah has always been a special spot for her.
“I usually leave my stuff down the beach so the kids don’t see it and then swim down to the party,” Jess said.
“(Fellow mermaid) Amelia and I do a lot of work in Mandurah – charity work, festival appearances and birthday parties and we always get such a warm welcome.
“When I swam off from the birthday party that day, dolphins joined me; it was such a beautiful moment.”
However, the day turned sour when Jess returned to find her possessions had been taken.
She didn’t even have a towel to dry herself.
Standing there in costume dripping wet Jess felt stranded, but did not want to return to the birthday party for help.
“It’s very important for me to keep the illusion alive,” Jess said.
“Once I drip dried a bit, I put my clothes back on, the kids sort of understand that I can have legs like Ariel.
“So I’m trying to ask for help without them noticing.
“But it was such a bizarre experience.”
Jess walked around the park to ask people if they had seen her possessions – some women loaned her their phone and gave her food and water.
“I didn’t have my phone, so I had no phone numbers and didn’t know who to call,” she said.
“RAC said they wouldn’t come unless I paid upfront, but my purse was in the car.
“Then one of the ladies from the birthday party spotted me and asked what I was still doing there.”
The woman – Lowanna Hugall took it upon herself to help Jess out.
She started a Go Fund Me page to raise money to pay for her lost possessions and restored Jess’s faith in humanity in the process.
“I felt really uncomfortable about it at first,” Jess said.
“I was so upset but it’s been offset by all the kindness.”
Jess said her stolen bag is such an unusual shape that it wouldn’t be much use for anything other than carry fins.
“Unless you’re an avid free-diver who is also a robber, I don’t see what use you would have for it,” she said.
A bit about Mermaid Jess
Jess was studying arts at university and was experimenting with underwater shots.
Along with her friend Amelia, she decided to take part in a mermaid shoot.
Jess said people were enraptured by the images and thought it “was magical”.
From there she decided to become a professional mermaid and has been performing for three years.
Amelia is also a professional mermaid who performs with Jess.
Jess is part of a mermaid show at AQWA and which can be viewed during the school holidays.
In the future she is looking to write a children’s book and put together a calendar.