A little boy who made crab pots with his dad as a distraction from his chemotherapy, only to have them stolen from the River Fal, has been left “so, so thrilled” after an anonymous tip-off led to their discovery.

On Saturday the Packet reported online at thepacket.co.uk how John Locker and three-year-old James, almost four, had been left devastated to discover the two crab pots they had made from scratch had been stolen from the water 200 yards off St Mawes Castle.

John and James made the pots to take fishing during James’s chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, which he has had since he was one, as due to his lowered immune system he often can’t mix with other children.

Less than 24 hours later, however, sadness turned to smiles after an anonymous tip-off helped the pair discover them 200 metres away, with the floats cut off.

John, who runs The Fish Locker blog on Facebook, said: “We are all so, so thrilled that our homemade pots have been recovered. We have had such an amazing response to the theft of the pots.”

Falmouth Packet:

John with James, wife Hannah and daughter Elizabeth on their boat

Even with the tip that “something” might have happened to them in that general area, John described it as a “complete shot in the dark, needle in a haystack” situation that they managed to recover the pots.

He said: “It’s an absolute miracle I managed to find them; just really glad I did. I cannot tell you how relieved I was when I pulled the grapple up with one of them on.”

As an added bonus, one of them even managed to come up with a lobster inside.

John added: “At a time when we were feeling pretty low, the overwhelming community spirit really put things in perspective.

“James and I have been out in the boat all day scouring around. Thanks to an anonymous tip-off, they were recovered via a grapple anchor some 200m away, the buoy rope cut clean.

“As we said from the start we don’t care who or why - we just wanted them back.”

He thanked everyone who had offered support and help.

Engineer John, who moved with his family from Falmouth to Truro, to be closer to the Royal Cornwall Hospital for James’s treatment, had previously described the pink and blue pots as “one of a kind”.

The pots have around 20kg steel between them and were fixed by a 10kg weight to the buoy, which made him “100 per cent certain” that they hadn’t just drifted away.

The family, which also includes wife Hannah, who is originally from Falmouth, and daughter Elizabeth, spend much of their free time getting fresh air on their boat, which they launch from Mylor.