I got a call from Maeva on Thursday morning around 7:30 am. She said that her sister, Bianca, had lost her wedding ring on Hatteras Island and needed help. She said that they had to leave to go back to Canada today and they really needed my help right away.
I told them that Hatteras is a no-go for metal detectors and is administered by the National Park Service. I would have to get permission and probably be observed by a NPS employee. They understood.
As I drove, I called the NPS and explained that the ladies from Canada had lost their ring and had to return home today. I met with Maeva, her sister Bianca and their mom Nathlie. Bianca, who owned the rings, told me that they lost 3 rings. One ring was found immediately near the parking area. The other two were a wedding set but the one they really wanted was the engagement ring with the most diamonds. They showed me the area that they had been in from the parking area to the beach and explained that they thought they lost it when she opened her purse.
The NPS contacted me and arranged for Mark to supervise my detecting. I began at the area the ladies had found one ring thinking the others would be close. No such luck. The area was target rich with lots of trash items, but after about 30 minutes I had a good hit. It was the engagement ring!
Later I Facetimed Bianca. I told her that I had good news and bad news, which do you want first? She said give me the bad news. I said that I had only been able to recover one ring. Then I moved the camera to show her the engagement ring. She was ecstatic!
Thanks to NPS employees Mike and Mark who made this recovery possible!
UPDATE: Shipping this ring to Canada was complicated…complete with the owner being taxed for what Canada thought was a purchase and me having to make a statement that I was simply returning a lost possession. I took nearly a month to make it home.