- Land/Shallow Water Search
- Diver/Underwater Search
Cost For My Service
The cost depends on the type of search. A local land search has an upfront fee of $25 which covers expenses. In addition I work on a reward basis, that means you pay what its worth to you and what you can afford to have me find your lost item.The cost of a water search depends on the aquatic environment. For example, wading is a lot less complicated than a SCUBA dive.
Land or water. (Woods, lawns, snow, sand, rocks, fresh water, salt water)
Northern Virginia and surrounding areas, land and water recoveries.
Rob Ellis's Bio
I am a retired master SCUBA instructor and currently a science teacher. I started underwater detecting in 1984. I have been very fortunate to have practiced my hobby in places like Guam, Hawaii, California, Missouri, South Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Bermuda, Mexico, and the Caribbean. As an instructor, I developed a course and taught SCUBA divers how to use metal detectors. One of my interesting recoveries was an expensive bronze statue of Chet Huntley. It was stolen from Big Sky Montana and thrown into the Occoquan River
Rob Ellis - Recent Blog Post
April 16th, 2020. During the Wuhan virus pandemic. Andrew emailed me asking for help to find a ring, not for himself, but for his friend Hazel. In January, Hazel was sitting on the front porch when her ring slipped from her hand and hit the wood deck. They were not sure if the ring rolled […]
April 20th, 2020. During the Wuhan virus pandemic. John called me to help find his lost phone. A few days prior, there was a fire in the wooded area behind his house. John assumed his phone fell out of his pocket while he was extinguishing the flames. To complicate the search area, the woods […]
March 30th, 2020. Matt again called to report he’s lost his ring. He was doing some habitual, unplanned weeding in the yard when he realized too late that he forgot to remove the ring. After searching for about 30 minutes I found the ring at the base of some liriope grass. It was barely visible […]
March 24th, 2020. Matt called me about a lost wedding band. He had made healthy life style changes and lost over 50 pounds since last summer. Matt didn’t remember the ring falling off, but reasoned the most likely place in his backyard while he was mulching. The 30 minute drive was surreal with so few […]
November 19th, 2019 John, who recently returned from an overseas deployment, had lost a lot of weight. He was fishing on his farm pond with a young friend. While helping his friend remove a fish from his line, John’s Virginia Tech ring slipped off. As you can see from the photo, this is a treasured […]
Rob Ellis - Testimonials
These two are the REAL DEAL…you lose and…they WILL find. (2020)
I am an Army Reservist and was deployed to Afghanistan the summer of 2019. While gone, I dropped about 30 pounds and returned home a lean/mean machine. While unwinding on my farm in Essex County, Virginia, fishing post deployment, I caught a bass which prompted me to bend over to the edge of my floating pier to get the fish and BLOOP! My huge 42-penny college ring from VA TECH that I have worn every day for 25 years falls into the water. I was devastated and immediately mentally marked the location by triangulating my approximate location on the pond.
I never lose or give up, so I decided I was going to drain the pond using gravity feed PVC pipes and find a diver; the planning immediately commenced. A Google search led me to Rob Ellis “Ring Finder” and then our journey began. I drained about 3 million gallons from the pond over 3 weeks (only about half the volume) and coordinated a date/time with Rob.
Rob is the epitome of professionalism and caring in such situations of losing things that are very close to your heart. He and his wife showed up on a cold and windy Nov day with smiles, compassion and some of the most state-of-the-art equipment one could imagine. My pond is a farm pond that is 25 feet deep (about 12 feet deep now after draining some) and riddled with debris/structure and logs at the bottom. Diving in such an environment even seemed a bit dangerous to me, but not to Rob. He kits up and BAM he is in the water maneuvering through mud and under/over logs and debris like an otter. The tenacity he showed in the water was nothing short of amazing. He exuded the confidence that he WOULD find the ring or break himself trying. In 24 minutes, BAM he finds the ring! I was floored, amazed, astounded and happy to the point of almost crying all at the same time. I swear I could feel that Rob and his wife wanted to find the ring as much as I did, and that gave me hope and confidence. Their service, attitude and professionalism cannot be matched, and I thank them both from the bottom of my heart to be wearing my large 42 penny head-knocker again. These two are the REAL DEAL…you lose and…they WILL find. Thank you both again for the wonderful journey and beautiful ending.
Essex County, Virginia
Rob and his wife proved to me that miracles do happen. (2016)
I am both pleased and honored to comment on Rob’s blog.
I was absolutely devastated when my engagement ring, wedding band and a family wedding band from 1931, were accidently dropped in the river while I was swimming with friends. I do not think the devastation and grief I felt at that time can be expressed in words.
After my friend accidently pulled them from my finger, my husband immediately dove and redove in an attempt to reach the bottom of the river to retrieve them; however, the water level was too deep for him to reach the bottom. Fortunately, he and his dad are very “Macgyver” oriented and believe there is a solution to all of life’s problems.
After telling my father-in-law what happened, he immediately began making phone calls throughout Virginia to inquire what the best underwater detecting gear was and where he could purchase tools to begin recovery. Fortunately, one individual he spoke with had heard of Ring Finders and suggested we contact a professional instead of attempting the rescue ourselves.
Excited that a group of individuals like Ring Finders existed, we immediately made contact with a group from Ring Finders and were back at the location I lost them one week later. Unfortunately, when things can go wrong they will, and our area was hit with a heavy storm the night before the dive, completely altering the river conditions. They still attempted the search to no avail and promised to return the following year since it was too late in the season to attempt another dive that year. Due to health issues, the individuals that previously searched for my rings last year were unable to go down this year and suggested I attempt to make contact with another diver with Ring Finders – that’s when I found Rob and his lovely wife.
As Rob mentioned, the ring was lost on private property and it was difficult to arrange everyone’s schedules to make the search happen. Throughout the confusion of coordinating schedules, Rob was gracious, understanding, helpful and considerate. When one date did not work with everyone, he would give me two or three more to work with, eventually making the search happen. He and his amazing wife drove over three hours with all of their equipment to give me one last chance of finding my lost items. While I was not at the sight while they searched, I sent lots of positive vibes, prayers and hope that this would work, and it did – because of them, their dedication, patience and skill set. They sacrificed their personal time, expenses for travel and equipment expenses because a stranger had hope and faith that her lost items could be recovered and that they had a chance of retrieving them for her.
Rob and his lovely wife not only returned an heirloom that has been in my family since 1931, they also returned my wedding set, which can now also be handed down for many generations to come thanks to their dedication and thoughtfulness.
I feel that recovering three rings from a river a year after they were lost, that were buried in two inches of silt, 75 feet from the dock in almost 9 feet of water is nothing short of a miracle. Rob and his wife proved to me that miracles do happen.
So – if you are missing anything of value – monetary or sentimental, do not hesitate to contact Rob and his lovely wife and keep faith and hope that your valuables will be retrieved. He made wonders happen for me and I have no doubt he will try his absolute best to make them happen for you too.