Scuba Diving for a Lost Ring - FOUND!!!

  • from Orange Beach (Alabama, United States)

I have been doing this for awhile now and I realized the other day that I was coming up on my 80th return. I was hoping that number 80 would be a special ring and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The other day I got a call from a Pennsylvania number and I answered to hear Terrie tell me that she needed some help. Her family was down vacationing in Orange Beach and when they were docking the boat in the marina, Josh, her son-in-law dropped his wedding ring in the water next to the dock. To make matters worse, the water depth where he thought it came off was about 8 or 9 feet deep. This was definitely going to take some dive gear to search for it. I agreed to come out and meet them and called my friend Charlie to see if I could use his Hookah dive rig. My gear was in for its annual service so this different setup would be a new experience as well. (Thanks Charlie)  When I got to the dock, the whole family was there to greet me and Josh showed me the general area he thought the ring had come off. He also explained that this was an heirloom ring that his father had given him. That made me even more determined as I jumped into the water. I brought along a 30lb weight belt to try and offset not having a steel tank while wearing my drysuit. I quickly realized that there was no way I was going to be able to stay on the bottom. Imagine wearing a giant life vest and trying to swim to the bottom of a pool.  It’s almost impossible. I wanted to use my drysuit because spending a lot of time searching on the bottom in murky marina water will freeze you to death but I decided the only way I was going to find this ring was to take off my drysuit, strip down to my bathing suit and bite the bullet. Now with the heavy weight belt I plunged to the bottom and oriented my gear. I had to look up occasionally to get my bearings by seeing Josh’s silhouette against the sky. I found a few different junk signals and then I heard a much stronger solid tone. I maneuvered over where I could see the bottom through my mask and waved my hand hard to clear the silt and sand. When it finally settled, there nestled amongst some oyster shells was Josh’s ring, safe and sound.  I surfaced and started handing gear up unable to talk yet with the regulator still in my mouth and the weight belt dragging me down. I handed everything up including the sonar cover for their boat that had gone over during the mishap. When I finally got the weight belt off and was able to take the regulator out I got a huge smile and handed Josh his heirloom ring back. I swam over to the boat to use the ladder to get out and the whole time the family was cheering and celebrating. It’s such a great feeling to be able to help people with this hobby. Terrie said it best when she texted me that evening that Josh was back to happy with a pep in his step and I had put their vacation back on track. I’m so glad I could help!  Terrie and Josh you have a great family. 😃

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