Craig Ziecina, Author at The Ring Finders

Ring found (Elkhart Indiana)

from Hanover (Michigan, United States)
Contact: 1-517-990-2016

After finding Steph’s ring, Nick and I pointed toward Simonton Lake located in Elkhart Indiana in attempts to find two more lost rings.

Ryan Cole (ringfinder also) had given
me the information concerning this lost ring, and supplied the owners contact information. I contacted Dan and scheduled the search to coincide with the other lost rings in Indiana.

On arrival the boat launch was vacant, but as luck would have it, once zipped up inside my semi dry suit (internal temp 110 degrees) vehicles with empty trailers started showing up. Due to the close proximity of spinning props, I chose to drop some water weight and wait until the pontoon boats were removed from the water.

After what seemed like hours, I entered the water and began my search pattern. Many years of discarded metallic trash and other debris caused me to spend over an hour digging unrelated insignificant targets.

The bottom of the lake was covered in several inches of silt, causing visibility to reduce from 5″ to 0″. Working in zero visibility is pretty common in any freshwater lacking any kind of current.

After filling my pockets with tin cans, several coins, one wheat penny and a pair of sunglasses, I located what I came for. In approximately 8′ of water I dug and recovered a dark colored titanium ring with the date 1-15-16 inside and the words “I will love you always”. I returned to the surface and exited the water to contact Dan and tell him the news.

This ring was lost several months ago when Dan was pushing his boat away from the shoreline. In attempts to climb up the ladder of the boat, his ring slid off his finger and sunk out of sight. Ryan searched for the ring on the day if was lost, but his search was cut short by excessive boat traffic and unhappy shore fisherman.

Dan was extremely happy and asked to have the ring shipped back to him. He was unable to make the drive to Simonton Lake due to work obligations.

Dan, thank you for the opportunity and Ryan, thank you for the information!!!IMG_3346

6 year old lost ring (Nappanee Ohio)

from Hanover (Michigan, United States)
Contact: 1-517-990-2016

IMG_3346 My brother in law and I made a trip to Elkhart Indiana this morning, leaving at 7am to begin a long 3 ring day. 2.5 hours later and a few paid tolls, we arrived at our first ring find. Nick was tagging along for moral support. Every team needs cheerleaders!!

This specific ring belonged to Stephanie Byler, who lost her ring 4 years ago at her parents house. Stephanie was playing volleyball in the pool when she realized her ring was missing from her finger. The family searched the area around the pool and even borrowed a metal detector, but had no luck finding it.

After reading Libby Evans story I posted last week,Stephanie contacted me to try my luck again. Stephanie actually began to cry when she told her husband I was willing to help.

These unfortunate events are usually filled with many emotions, and regardless of how many years go by, the single moment a sentimental item is lost, time seems to freeze until that item is found..

I spoke to Stephanie’s mother and asked her what she remembered about the day the ring was lost. After a brief conversation, I retrieved my XP dues detector and began my search.

I started searching around the pool, and would expand my search in a spiral pattern until the ring was located, or the entire yard was cleared.

I had a single signal before I located a beautiful clean tone, approximately 4-5″ deep within 15′ of the pool. I hadn’t even made one lap around the pool before I located this specific signal.

One scoop later, with the dry dirt under the finely manicured lawn exposed, I stared into the crater and saw beautiful gold diamond ring!

The entire search took 12-14 minutes, from the moment I pulled up, to when I was covering up the hole which produced the ring! Many nights of worrying and sadness could now be forgotten. I imagined how happy Stephanie would be in a few moments after making a single phone call.

Nick and I returned my gear to my truck and knocked on the door to speak with Stephanie’s mom.

After some begging and a very important promise, I showed her the ring and asked her to keep the secret until I called Stephanie and surprised her. She agreed and followed the promise with a prayer to keep us safe as we continued with our day and the two remaining ring finds.

Stephanie is a 3rd grade school teacher and was unable to answer when I called. I left a voicemail and asked her to return my call because I had additional questions concerning the search.

20 long minutes later, Stephanie called and the conversation was recorded… capturing the emotions and excitement is the utmost of importance to me!! This is the best part of finding lost rings!!!

Stephanie was very excited and couldn’t wait to meet up with us later to pick up her long lost ring.

After meeting Stephanie and her husband Robert, we learned the ring had been lost 6.5 years ago, not 4 as I was originally told. Stephanie didn’t want to discourage any search efforts, and feared I wouldn’t have helped if she told me when her ring was actually lost. This makes Stephanie’s ring my oldest reported ring found to date!

6.5 years of cutting grass, Indiana blizzards and thunderstorms allowed this ring to sink 4-5″, but also allowed Stephanie an unforgettable experience!! Thanks again Stephanie and Robert! We appreciate everything and we’re glad we could help!!!

Open water dual ring find (Chelsea, Michigan)

from Hanover (Michigan, United States)
Contact: 1-517-990-2016

Several days ago I received a email concerning a lost ring in Chelsea Michigan. The act of juggling things at home to find the dive time began. Growing anticipation made it hard to sleep last night, but I finally drifted off hoping the morning would come quickly.

After seeing my daughter off to school with my wife and son, I anxiously loaded my truck and replayed all the details. I hoped the possibility of a successful “ring find” was within reach, but uncontrollable obstacles always seem to present themselves.

I pointed the truck 48 minutes east to meet a great friend who would be accompanying me on the dive. Robert would be driving 1.3 hours to Chelsea and would be diving to increase our odds of success.

I arrived and met Robert near Elizabeth’s house, we drove up the driveway to meet Elizabeth (Libby) and her mother Julie.

After loading the boat with hundreds of pounds of gear, we discussed the events leading up to the loss of Libby’s 2 individual rings. Robert and I prepped and checked our gear before taking full advantage of the beautiful 54 degree morning, hopping in and remaining as hopeful as Libby.

The spot was initially gps’d and marked, and now a lone divers flag floated in the approximate location. We orbited the area with our detectors slowly, insuring the area was thoroughly covered. We would search in all directions of the divers flag, until the rings were located. The possibility of drifting may have occurred before the spot was saved on the gps, so we assumed this would be a several hour search.

After 45 minutes submerged, I locating several pull tabs,aluminum can pieces, and a zebco 33 fishing pole. I surfaced slowly to get my bearing and descended once again. After reaching the bottom, I swam directly over a shallow and clear signal.

I dug the signal slowly, being careful not to lose the target in the loose silt beneath the weeds. I felt a round heavy item and raised it within an inch of my mask to identify the item. To my amazement I focused on a shiny white gold ring with a beautiful stone!! After finding the wedding ring, I remained in place and checked the immediate area for the other lost ring.

Several feet to my right I located an identical sounding signal. The item was carefully located and removed from the silt in the same fashion. This target was the white gold matching engagement ring!! I slowly swam back to the boat to surprise Libby and Julie.

Many thoughts of presenting the rings ran thru my head, so I put on my best “defeated poker face” and tried to make my act believable.

I crawled aboard and started telling Libby and Julie about the weeds and dark water with zero visibility, I hoped they bought the story.

After placing my fins and detector on the floor of the pontoon, I reached and motioned for Libby to open her hand. She looked in amazement and confused when the two rings were returned to her. Julie yelled “oh my gosh, you did it!!” Libby didn’t cry, but smiled all the way back to the dock!!

The morning was as perfect as I hoped, and Robert and I were very happy to have been a part of it!!

Libby and Julie, THANK YOU for the opportunity and the beginning of a great friendship! Please keep our numbers and let us know if we can ever help again!!!

Lost wedding ring found (Grove City, Ohio)

from Hanover (Michigan, United States)
Contact: 1-517-990-2016

Today I drove 4 hours south, to Southern Ohio to meet my former Team Leader, and business partner with Veterans Underwater Recovery,Scott Guise. Scott made the trip North, from Lexington Virginia.

We devoted 4 days to dive for a lost ring reported approximately one month ago, and would not leave Ohio until it was found, regardless of the time spent!

This was a special event, although each and every single ring find is very special, this women not only lost her ring, but lost her house to a horrible fire before the ring was lost. Janelle and her family had been through enough horrible experiences, it was time for some good news..!!

Scott and I entered the river and noticed the current had increased immensely due to an ongoing thunderstorm. The current and raising water level made this dive challenging, even for two 20+ year divers…but, if you get two former Marine’s together, there is no option to either show weakness or give up, ever!

A systematic search of the river bottom produced several targets and most importantly a beautiful shiny ring laying buried beneath the riverbed.

After exiting the river, scott made “the call” to Janelle, I recorded a video as Scott told her about the find!! Janelle fought the emotions but was extremely excited and overwhelmed with emotions!

Approximately 1.5 hours later, Janelle arrived with her beautiful family to put her ring on her finger once again. Janelle admitted she appreciated us trying to search for her ring, but she had lost hope and thought she would never see her ring again. I hope this experience brightened their day and she realized there is ALWAYS HOPE!!

Janelle, thank you for the opportunity and it was a pleasure meeting you and your family!!!

Ring recovered, (Fenton Michigan)

from Hanover (Michigan, United States)
Contact: 1-517-990-2016

Several days ago I received information on a lost ring that was attempted to be found by a friend. The ring was reported lost 4 weeks earlier and remained lost. While on my way back from a successful ring find in the Saginaw Michigan area, I stopped in Fenton Michigan and met Brad.

Brad was extremely upset about losing his Great Grandfathers ring. He searched the house, yard, friends house, and finally looked for assistance online, where he located Gregg Larabel and Dave Boyer.

Greg and Dave searched the water where the ring was thought to have been lost without luck. The information was relayed to me, having the ability to scuba dive and clear the deeper water beyond Brads dock.

On this specific day, I had several hours to burn before another ring find in Ann Arbor Michigan. I used 2 scuba tanks and spent approximately 4-4.5 hours submerged at Brads house, and a nearby friends house.
After the initial search, I informed Brad I had to leave to make the 7p appointment, but I would definitely be back in a few days.

Brad had spent a few hours at his friends house before returning home the day the ring was lost. He was also pulled off his dock while trying to tie his pontoon up, and visited neighbors for a drink several doors down afterwards. There were many locations and variables with this search, it wasn’t the “I saw it fall in the lake here” scenario.

Detailed coordination and a “green light” from my wife resulted in another trip to Fenton Michigan this morning. I left the house at 6am, arrived at 7:47am and drank a cup of coffee with Brad and Larry, his 7 year old lab who could out swim Michael Phelps.

Brad was beating himself up over the lost ring and rehearsed every single event the day it was lost. We searched his couch, magazine basket, pontoon boat, coffee table and finally I decided to get my gear and start diving. Brad was pulled off his dock the day he lost the ring and believes the ring was in the lake somewhere.

Before getting suited up, I decided to clear the neighbors yard because Brad had mentioned he had tripped crossing a small fence while returning home from having a quick drink. Brad latched onto a large bush to catch himself and prevent from falling. He fell asleep on his couch after entering the house.

I started my land search and checked brads yard, a bush and the tree he latched onto the night he lost the ring. Once in the neighbors yard, I located a shallow surface signal directly under the white wooden perimeter fence. To my amazement, I pinpointed the area, pushed the tall grass aside and saw the most amazing thing, HIS RING!!!

I handed a dazed and surprised Brad his ring and watched as he jumped and ran in circles with tears in his eyes…. Brad fought back tears and gave me a huge guy hug! The weight lifted of my shoulders was unexplainable…I am so thankful for another chance to find and return such a sentimental item!!! Brad, thank you for the opportunity and friendship!!

HISTORY OF THE RING:

Brads Grandfather, John A Herms, was a 2nd Lt in the US Army in World War I. He was a very connected business man in the Detroit area in his day. John was also the commander of the American Legion Post 124, and one of the founding members. The ring cherished and worn by John Herms was one of his prized possessions. It was given to Brad several years ago by his father after the passing of his Great Aunt. Brad cherished the ring as much, if not more as his Great Grandfather!!! Here are some amazing pictures of John, and Brad with his ring!! Note the striking resemblance!!! I’m proud to be a veteran and I’m proud to have found a ring once owned by a World War I veteran!! Great grandpa John Herms is smiling from above!!!

Lost 4 years ago…found today!! (Napoleon,Michigan)

from Hanover (Michigan, United States)
Contact: 1-517-990-2016

I received a phone call a few weeks ago from a gentleman who had lost his titanium ring four years earlier, at his lake house weekend retreat. The ring and then lost between his boat and his dock, although the dock location changed over the years.

I was briefed on the location and decided what gear to use, then started my search.

The entire family remained on shore, watching as I did a systematical searched of the lake bottom. No pressure….

After approximately one hour, and many non relevant targets recovered, I surfaced with the long lost ring. George’s niece responded with a surprised scream as I removed my gear,  hand delivering the recovered ring

Upon returning it to the owner, I was greeted with a ton of smiles. clapping and cheering. It was an absolute pleasure to meet George and his family!!! I appreciate the experience and I hope to be able to help you out again, if needed.

 

 

 

Holiday dive, wedding band recovered! (Brooklyn,Michigan)

from Hanover (Michigan, United States)
Contact: 1-517-990-2016

I received a call from a a gentleman about a wedding ring Lost in a local lake while swimming a day earlier.

I arrived this morning, July 4th at 8am, in attempts to find his ring before he left at noon to return to his home State.

I was briefed on the location, and began my dive. Several circular search patterns in poor visibility resulted in a longer search than usual. The wedding band was located and hand delivered back to John within the hour! The smiles I received assured me it was time well spent!!

Thank you John for the opportunity and enjoy the rest of your Holiday!!!!

Big ring , zero visibility. (Fenton,Michigan)

from Hanover (Michigan, United States)
Contact: 1-517-990-2016

I was contacted by Greg Larabel and Dave Boyer who were unable to find a lost ring in Fowlerville Mi. The husband estimated the depth of the lost ring to be 3-4 foot, but was actually 6-7 foot. Greg and Dave did their best in the zero visibility windy conditions, but were unable to locate the ring, only because of the depth. These guys are very very effictive and have a nearly perfect track record!!! I was honored to help them as a diver!

After a 1.4 hour drive, I arrived at the residence to meet Tracy, the upset owner of the ring. The large wedding ring was given to her by her mother several years ago, before her passing.  The sentimental value of this ring was overwhelming. After assuring Tracy I’d do everything I could for her, I entered the muddy water to test my luck.

I began my search for the ring in 7 feet of weedy, silty dark water at the edge of the dock. There was zero visibility due to windy conditions and the soft silty bottom. Tracy waited anxiously on the dock as I surfaced several times with alluminum cans I located.

After approximately 10 minutes Tracy was over taken with emotions when she slipped the her mothers ring back on her finger. I absolutely love this job, and I look forward to the next one… THANK YOU TRACY AND JEFF!!!!

Shallow water wedding band! (Concord, Michigan)

from Hanover (Michigan, United States)
Contact: 1-517-990-2016

I was contacted by a good friend about his uncles lost ring the other day, and scheduled a search for tonight. I arrived with my helpers, my 3 year old son Roman, and my 5 year old daughter Paige, who carried my equipment to the waters edge for me.

After being briefed on the area where the ring was lost, we entered the water together.. I started swinging the coil of my detector in the area of the lost ring and immediately got a shallow signal. One scoop determined the target was now in my scoop.

As luck would have it, less than a minute later Mick was holding his lost wedding band in disbelief! It had been lost a few days earlier, while washing mud off his hands in the water. The kids felt like hero’s and Mick couldn’t thank us enough!!!

Sentimental keys (Somerset, Michigan)

from Hanover (Michigan, United States)
Contact: 1-517-990-2016

I returned to a lake where a ring had been lost several years earlier. This would be my 4th dive, the location of the ring could only be estimated, since it was lost from a boat.

While walking to the water I was approached by a gentlemen who seemed very happy to see me. He asked if I was “Craig” and explained he had lost his keys a week or so earlier while trying to prevent a boat from floating away from the dock. He was upset about losing them but didn’t tell me the entire story until after they were located.

I was able to find the keys relitively quickly and returned them to him, patiently waiting on shore. The key ring contained a bottle opener, once owned by his father who had passed several years earlier. This sentimental value of this set of keys was off the chart!!! I was absolutely honored to be a part of the recovery!!