It seemed like a good idea…Tyler and Jesse – due to be married next June, were having an engagement photo shoot with their photographer Naomi. They were at the scenic and picturesque waterfront in Ft. Raleigh. What could go wrong? Then, they decided to go into the water to capture some beautiful images. When they got to shore, Tyler’s gold diamond ring was missing.
Later that night I got a call from Naomi. She told me about the photo shoot and the lost ring. She also informed me that the ring had been given to Tyler by her mom, who had passed away two years ago. I realized I had to do my best to recover this one. When she described where the ring was, I knew I had to get approval from the National Park Service (NPS) before searching.
The next day the couple met me at the site. They were sure it was lost in the water but not sure exactly where. They showed me an area in the water about 20 by 20 yards that the ring should be. I contacted the on-duty NPS Ranger, and he left a note on the desk of his boss.
Later that week I got the go ahead! The ring had been in the water for 7 days, so I headed out immediately. I contacted Naomi and Tyler (who had returned to Richmond) while I was on-route to the site. When I arrived, it was nearly 5:30 and I was greeted by unexpected wind and waves. I stopped and prayed on the beach.
I started the search just in the water parallel with the beach. I went out sweep by sweep about 4 ft at a time. The area was loaded metallic trash and iron targets. I continued going all the way out to the end of the wooden wave breaks. Nothing!
I was running out of time and daylight, so I called Tyler to ask about how far out by the wooden wave breaks they went. She told me they went about halfway out. I told her that I went completely to the end and that I had covered the entire area twice.
Deciding to call it a day and heading back in from the deep area, I went further west to an area I had not covered. I got hit. It was a 62, which is typical for a nickel. I changed the program and got a stronger sounding 62. I knew it could be the ring. When I brought up the scoop the diamonds and gold glistened mixed in with sand and rocks!
I sent a text to Tyler with the song “Miracles” by Colton Dixon and a picture of the ring.
Water image courtesy of Naomi Culley Photography