Tough River Recovery

from Springfield (Missouri, United States)
Contact: 1-417-830-9603

This recovery started with an email from a friend of the ring owner, but quickly progressed to a call from Shannan, the ring owner herself. Shannan had been cooling off at a local river swimming spot and decided to move through some fast-flowing water. As she did so, the current pulled her diamond and white gold engagement ring off her finger. Shannan was distraught. She and her fiancé bought a waterproof flashlight and attempted to set off reflections from the diamonds, but the choppy water made it impossible. Then Shannan’s friend hopped online, found my Ring Finders page and now here I was, trudging down a dirt road that led to the river.

After giving me the background of what happened and pointing out the relevant places, I was encouraged by the fact that Shannan knew exactly when the ring came off her hand. This really helped narrow the search area down to a few square yards. But once I put on my wet gear and walked into the river, my confidence ebbed significantly: The spot where the ring was lost had a current so strong it was a challenge to stand in it, let alone swing a detector!

I found a place to stand, bracing my feet diagonally and facing into the current. This was working, but it became clear that I was going to have to change coils. The big coil on the AT Pro was hydroplaning in the current and even with both hands I couldn’t keep a controlled movement going. I waded back out and switched to the smaller coil. With less surface area to buffet, the rushing water had far less effect on this coil, and I was able to start a grid. It was still tough: The water was nearly 3 feet deep and so rough from the speed of the current, I couldn’t see the coil, let alone the river bed. This was going to have to be 100% auditory.

Before long I had a good repeatable signal that was right in the middle of the AT’s gold range. I pinpointed as best I could through the chaos of the water and put my foot beside the coil. Taking my scoop, I blindly dug alongside my foot. Dragging the scoop out of the water, a quick re-scan over the spot was silent. Either I had knocked the target back into the current and it had tumbled downriver, or it was in the scoop. I started to pick rocks out of the scoop and soon saw a blaze of fiery color – there was Shannan’s engagement ring, the diamonds shining brightly in the afternoon sun!

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