AN ASSISTANT who helps less mobile passengers on and off cruise ships is appealing to readers to help track down a lost watch.
Paul Maleski said he thought his keepsake timepiece, an Accurist, may have been snagged and accidentally slipped off his wrist and into the boot of a car owned by the retired couple from Harrow on the Hill whom he helped last week at the Port of Southampton.
Mr Maleski, 60, who lives next door to the Hampshire docks, said: "I pushed his wife in her wheelchair to their car.
"It was a silver-grey BMW and he asked if I could put their suitcase in the boot.
"It was a very tight fit and I felt my arm catch on something when I pulled it out.
"I realised five minutes later when was walking back to the quay and went to check the time that I was missing my watch.
"It must have fallen into the boot and the gentleman may not have realised, because how often do you look in the boot?"
Mr Maleski said he only has a description of the couple's vehicle and the fact they lived in Harrow on the Hill to go on because the ship's manifest has been destroyed and lots of people were assisted off the boat and at least 10 BMWs were in the car park.
The couple in question were returning on the Cunard cruise ship Queen Victoria that docked at the Port of Southampton's berth 38/39 at 10am on Thursday at the end of a 13-night Around The British Isles cruise.
"We had a good chat. He told me he used to work in Wembley and they lived in Harrow on the Hill," Mr Maleski, who works for G4S, said.
He has promised to donate £50 to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children or a local children's hospice if he gets his watch back.
"It's a bit of an unusual request and I'm playing the Sherlock Holmes role here," Mr Maleski said.
"It's not about the money. My wife bought it for me as a birthday gift about five years ago.
"I shouldn't have been wearing it to work, really."
n Mr Maleski asked the couple to either telephone him directly on 02380 634311 or to contact Cunard.