OCEAN BEACH (KGTV) - People in Ocean Beach have hatched a (not-so) secret plan to bring a popular mermaid statue back to town.
"We’re go-getters. We’re not going to give in. This is going to be a mission," says Claudia Jack, the self-proclaimed leader of Team Mermaid.
For three weeks in May and June, a mermaid statue sat atop Ross Rock near Sunset Cliffs. Nicknamed 'Marina', the statue brought tourists and locals to the area to take pictures.
For some, it was a nuisance, bringing more traffic and trash. Jack says that's one reason they don't plan to put the mermaid back on the rock.
"It's my goal to get her repaired and put her somewhere that she'll be appreciated," she says.
The mermaid was secretly removed in June by a group calling themselves the Cliffs Crew. For a while, no one knew what had happened to it. Jack says she knows where Marina is located but won't reveal her location.
"I have not revealed any names or whatever," she says. "It's very hush-hush. But it will come out in the end. In a happy way."
Jack has enlisted the help of a few friends and artists to repair some minor damage to Marina. She's also trying to get the entire community involved. Earlier this month, she sent out 300 postcards with a picture of the mermaid on the front. The back simply read "Save the OB Mermaid" and had an email address.
She says the response has been overwhelming.
"What little girl doesn't want to be a mermaid?" she asks.
Jack plans to unveil Marina as a statue at the Ocean Beach Holiday Parade in December. After that, she plans to let local businesses bid for the rights to host the statue for a few months at a time. She says the money raised would be used for upkeep.
Jack says she already has two local businesses who have expressed interest. After that, she wants to commission a bronze replica that can be a permanent statue near the Ocean Beach Pier.
The hope is that Marina can become a local icon like the Cardiff Kook or the Lemon Grove Lemon.
"She's alive," says Jack. "She's just taking a little rest right now. But we'll get it done."