In July, 2020, I received a call from a woman who was seeking help in locating her husband’s wedding ring which he had lost in the White River during a canoeing trip. The family was from out of town and had rented a canoe at Canoe Country in Daleville, Indiana to spend a nice day traveling down the river. As they were moving through some rapids towards the end of their trip, the canoe collided with a rock and her husband, in attempt to prevent their canoe from tipping, put his hand into the water and onto the riverbed as a brace. It worked, but at the expense of his wedding ring. They beached their canoe and searched visually for an hour or so before the disappearing daylight forced them to call off their search and make the long trip home without his wedding ring. They quickly realized how difficult it was going to be to get it back as they lived more than an hour away from where it was lost and just finding the time to return was going to be hard enough, let alone actually finding his ring at the the bottom of the river. They decided they needed to find another option and after a Google search led her to TheRingFinders.com she called me to see if I could possibly help find it.
After hanging up with her I knew this was going to be a challenging search. They lived more than an hour away and with time constraints they could not meet me at the location. The only thing I had to go off was a pinned GPS location giving me a general area, which may not even be accurate. The location was 25 minutes from my house and only accessible by boat or kayak. The time it would take just to get geared up and get to and from the location would be several hours at least. The rising water levels from recent rainfall had undoubtedly caused some rocks to disappear under the water making it look a lot different than she remembers and hard to tell which rock they actually hit. I was going to be looking for a very small object in a large river with just a general idea of where it could be.
I recruited my girlfriend for company and the next day we got loaded up and got on the river. We knew pretty quick it was moving a lot faster and was a lot deeper than she had described the day he lost it, but continued on anyway. After asking her some more questions through text and her sending me a drawing of what I called the “treasure map,” I was pretty sure I was at the right location. I began my search and quickly found out that the area was layered with tightly packed rocks and my scoop was not at all helpful, forcing me to use my hands to feel for whatever my detector was picking up. I was only able to find large items that I could feel with my hands, including a few cell phones and even a firearm, but sadly no ring. The river was also filled with massive groups of kayakers, canoers, and tubers who were having to try to avoid me, as well as the many rocks in that part of the river. I figured I would not add one more obstacle to their navigating and called it a day. We postponed the search and for the next hour or so we watched people try, and sometimes hilariously fail, to navigate the rapids.
That night, knowing my scoop was worthless, I decided to make an “underwater viewer” using plexiglass and a leaf blower tube, and a bigger one for my girlfriend using a trash can. This allowed us to see whatever I was hearing with my detector without having to try to scoop it, or go under the cold water with a mask.
The next day, with our new devices, lower water levels and less traffic, we headed back out. After about 2 hours of grid searching the river I heard a loud, solid sound blast through my headphones. I quickly looked through the viewer and saw what my metal detector had found. It was his ring, three feet deep and wedged between two small rocks at the bottom of the river. I quickly pulled it out from where it had sat for several days and got out my phone to snap a picture. I sent her the picture asking if it was her husband’s ring and was met with a very quick reply: “OMGness!!!! YES!! That’s it!! Thank you!! Tears….both of us!” I met her the next day in between our two cities and handed her back her husband’s ring, the ring that she put on his finger when they got married, and the ring they both thought was lost forever. Quite the test for my first search through The Ring Finders, but it was well worth it.
If you have lost an item that you think I might be able to help you find, please do not wait! Call me today! (765-215-4705)
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