After spending the morning at DeMarco Detector Sales getting a new detector to replace my Excalibur, I went to the beach to attempt a recovery. I was contacted by a distraught woman, Danielle, who was walking in the water with her fiancé when she was hit by a large wave, knocking her down in the water. She was flailing about; fearful she was going to drown. When she got home later she discovered that her engagement ring was gone.
When I met Danielle & her fiancé Daniel, they had a map drawn up with an X to mark the spot they thought the ring might be. They were walking north in knee deep water 2 hours before high tide when the incident occurred. I was here as low tide was approaching, hoping the ring would be in the wet sand.
I started a grid pattern. While searching, it started to rain, great… 15 minutes later a beautiful rainbow appeared. I thought that this might be a good sign. Well, I searched north for a block and a half. I rechecked the area with no luck. While searching I was watching Danielle. She kept crying. She was very upset. I felt bad.
I decided to check south of where they thought they were. I went another half a block, no luck. I have been searching for 3 hours and my arm was getting tired. I said to myself I am going to give it 2 more up & downs. The next down I found the ring. I had it in my scoop.
Dan & Danielle didn’t see me dig it. I started walking toward them looking beat & depressed. She said I can’t believe how hard you worked. Let me pay you for your troubles & asked if I could come back on Saturday to look again. I showed her my scoop and she saw the ring. She started to jump up and down & the tears were flowing. She kept hugging me. She must have hugged me 40 times. I told her that Dan is going to get jealous. Dan was just stunned that the ring was found.
We took some pictures and they gave me a very generous reward. The looks on their faces was really the only reward that I needed. I love that feeling of returning lost sentimental items and watching their reactions of the people who lost the item. I love my hobby!!
PS: The new detector worked GREAT!!
Below is Danielle’s version:
On Friday August ninth my evening began like so many others and ended like no other…My fiancée and I went to dinner and we were having a wonderful evening; great food, music and drinks. We were discussing what day we should plan our wedding, where the location would be etc. Later we left the restaurant and the idea of taking a walk on the beach to watch a lighting storm over the ocean seemed romantic and appealing. Once there, we walked hand and hand…the sound of the ocean and waves lapping up onto the shore was just so beautiful…so beautiful I decided I was going to go wading around in it. It was now dusk, and looking back, it wasn’t the brightest idea in the world because when I turned to look at my fiancée one of those very waves hit the back of my knees which caused me to loose my footing and down I went into the surf…I struggled to get myself up but it proved so difficult Daniel had to trudge in and come to my rescue.
Soaking wet and humiliated I made my way back to the car, dried off, changed into some clothes, and headed home…that’s when Daniel said “Babe…your ring!” I looked down to fine only a tan line where my ring once sat. It was gone…washed away in the tide when I struggled so foolishly to gain ground. I was instantly heartbroken and quite honestly, hysterical. I didn’t know what to do. The next morning I woke at dawn and raced to what I thought was the location, and began searching. Up and down the beach I walked straining my eyes in hopes to find this ring that meant so much to me, defeated I left only to return in the evening with a three pronged rake…I dug, and looked and cried, still there was no ring. It had seemed the ocean had taken it for her own and the sadness and guilt I felt only deepened.
Later that night I was on the computer…my ring of course being the only thing I could think about; I began searching lost rings in the ocean. As I scrolled through a sea of tales written about similar experiences I stumbled onto a site TheRingFinders.com, my curiosity was peaked. Clicking through the links I finally came across the name Dave Milsted and I thought to myself “It’s worth a shot to shoot him an e-mail…what’s the worst that could happen, he won’t answer”? Before I knew it I was writing to explain my desperate situation and asking for help. I clicked send and I waited. No sooner did I write I saw there was a reply…and it was Dave! I nearly jumped out of my chair I was so excited, I actually got a response and he was interested in coming to my aid…I had a shred of hope, finally.
After a brief correspondence Dave said he would be willing to search out my ring and that he could come that Monday…the longest two days of my life I must say, but I was overjoyed that there was a chance that maybe, just maybe, I would find this diamond in the sand. Monday finally came and Daniel and I met up with Dave at the beach entrance in Brigantine. I was a bit nervous due to the fact that the sky was beginning to look a bit ominous. The dark clouds stretched out over the dunes and we moved fast in an effort to cover what ground we could. Daniel pointed out where he roughly thought I went in and as I stood at the waters edge I thought “I think I was here” a bit south from where Daniel had suggested but he insisted, and I was unsure so I went and agonizingly looked on as Dave began his search. Tirelessly he moved back and forth through the water and along the beach scouring the sand with his new detector (I later found out I was the first to break this one in); it began to rain and I looked at the sky silently pleading for it to stop so Dave wouldn’t…he didn’t; instead he only continued. Finally, the rain eased up and a rainbow broke out in the horizon just over head of where Dave was working. Daniel said “Look a rainbow” I smiled a little and hoped it was a sign but one hour, two hours, three hours passed and still no ring. It wasn’t here I thought.
At this point my Rainbow man was now working in front of me in the tide; I told Daniel I was going to ask him if he would come back Saturday to work the South side where he was now inching towards, I just had this burning feeling it was there. Daniel was insistent that it wasn’t down that far but I said “It will make me feel better if I know this whole area was covered.” No sooner did I say it I saw Dave approaching and I slowly got myself up to meet him. As I moved closer to him I began to speak but before I could say a word he shook his sifter at me; I looked down and there it was, my ring!!! Dave pulled it from the ocean, and truly blew my mind! I was stunned, ecstatic and absolutely over the moon! Daniel couldn’t believe it. I must have hugged Dave ten times in that moment!
August 9th was one of the worst days of my life, however, August 12th became the day I will most remember and I have no one else but Dave to thank for that. He returned something precious to me…something I thought I would never see again. I’ll forever be thankful to you Dave. You are an angel…not just to me, but to so many others and you will forever be… my Rainbow Man. Thank you!