On Sunday 12th December 2021, a cannister containing an Apple AirTag, a note, five Euros and a Marty McFly figure, ‘fell’ into the Vltava river. Marty’s journey started well until we lost contact in Troja a few days ago.
AirTags don’t have GPS, instead, they rely on pinging a nearby iPhone via Bluetooth – the pinged iPhone then sends the location to Apple and the owner of the AirTag can see the location.
By Monday 13th December, Marty had travelled from Charles Bridge (Karlův most) all the way to Vodácká street in the Troja area of Prague.
On Tuesday 14th December, Marty was pinged in the exact same position.
On Wednesday 15th December at 06:59, Marty was pinged on the opposite side of the river – but still no further along.
On Thursday 16th December at 09:30, Marty was pinged in almost the same location.
It looked like Marty was stuck and so we launched a rescue mission.
We took the metro to Nádraží Holešovice.
Walked to the pedestrian crossing.
Then up toward Troja bridge (Trojský most).
Where we turned left onto a bleak path by the railway tracks.
That led down Holešovické nábř. street next the river.
I checked if my iPhone’s Bluetooth could find Marty – nothing.
We continued and Holešovické nábř. became Za Elektrámu – still nothing.
We reached the spot where Marty was last pinged.
My AirTag has the luggage tag icon and Marty’s has the movie camera – still my phone couldn’t find Marty.
We continued along the river.
Across a bridge spanning the small channel – still nothing from Marty.
Could it be that Marty is still on the opposite side of the river? We took a larger bridge across.
And arrived at a deserted Občerstvení U Lávky pub.
Time to head under the bridge and along Vodácká street to where Marty was pinged on Tuesday 14th December.
We passed a house built to resemble a Trojan Horse. Apparently, this is the home of sculptor, Ivan Nacvalač. Can someone tell me whether there is some link between Troja and Trojan?
The channel used for canoeing slalom competitions was almost dried up – still no ping from Marty.
And then we reached the reason for lack of water in that channel – some construction works.
This could easily be the reason why Marty became stuck. The workers wouldn’t allow us past the gate.
We had to turn around and walk back to catch a bus back to Nádraží Holešovice from nearby Prague Zoo.
Marty is still missing and hasn’t been seen since the 16th December 2021.
If Marty is pinged again, we may try and approach the construction works from the other direction – cross Troja bridge (Trojský most) and turn left. Meanwhile, all we can do is hope he has somehow managed to continue his journey.
How can you help?
If you are a canoeist with an iPhone, please could you enable Bluetooth and canoe close to where Marty was last found. In that way we might see some more pings. You may even see his cannister stuck in the water – in which case, please take him to open water and let him continue on his journey.
Where could Marty go?
The Vltava river is the longest river in the Czech Republic, merging with the Elbe at Mělník. The Elbe winds through Dresden, Meißen, then across the North German Plain, passing along the former western border of East Germany, touching Torgau, Wittenberg, Dessau, Magdeburg, Wittenberge, and Hamburg where it flows into the North Sea.