I got a call from Evan on Friday, Sept 11th asking if I could look for his ring that he lost Aug 7th while on vacation here from Texas. When he called I was on a little weekend vacation with my wife and at the time we were on a tour boat to Ft. Sumter SC. I told him I’d be glad to look and I’d call him back Sunday for the details.
I ended up texting and then calling him Saturday night and got a general vicinity of where he lost his ring. In our conversation he said that he and his wife were here vacationing with his Law school buddy but he wasn’t familiar with North Myrtle Beach and wasn’t real sure where they were. He told me that he is confined to an electric wheelchair and thought they were close to the Cherry Grove beach. He also sent me a video that his wife had taken that showed his friend Gary carrying him out into the surf and the point that both were knocked over by a wave causing the ring to come off Evan’s finger. Luckily the video showed Gary carrying Evan past 2 posts stuck in the sand with a sign attached to one of the posts to indicate the location of a drainage pipe. This helped narrow the search area but I still wasn’t completely positive of where Gary and Evan were. Early Sunday evening I went to the presumed area looking for the 2 posts with a sign and the drainage pipe. There were two possible locations about 3 blocks apart so I did a 360 degree video of both locations and sent them back to Evan and his wife, Summer to look over and see if anything looked familiar. Evan and his wife both were pretty sure the 1st video was the right spot. I returned later that evening and searched until just above low tide at 2:30 am. I went back again on Monday at low tide and I still wasn’t convinced I was in the right spot. Evan was finally able to get a hold of Gary and Gary’s father on Wednesday and confirmed I was in the right area.
Thursday I was back at the same spot and searched from the dry to the wet sand and out into knee deep surf. Still no luck except for totally cleaning the dry sand of every bottle cap and other piece of trash in a 25X75 ft. area!!! Meanwhile I was e-mailing back and forth with friend Jim Brouwer, and president of one of the metal detecting hunting clubs in Myrtle Beach to see if he knew of anybody in the club that might have found the ring. In one of the e-mails Jim asked me if I had found it yet and I told him no but was going back out on Saturday at 4pm and if he wanted to come out to come on.
Saturday, I got there a little early after studying Evan’s video over and over again. I tried to position myself exactly where I thought Gary had started walking into the surf. Then I estimated the angle Gary walked since he didn’t walk straight in. I counted the number of steps (38) and the length of each step Gary took. I drew out a square gridline dragging my scoop in the sand. I also drug the scoop at the angle I thought Gary walked from the spot I thought he started to the low tide line and then started my grid search. Jim showed up around 5 and started a grid to the south of where I was. My search was from North to South and Jim’s was from South to North, after a number of passes I had to stop because Jim’s machine was interfering with mine. Jim ended up moving a little further south and started working a North to South grid. Right at 6:15 I had a medium signal right under my angle line I had dug in the sand showing my estimated line Gary walked. Bingo I had Evan’s College Ring in my scoop. I couldn’t believe it.
After 6 weeks and a day of being lost I wasn’t sure the ring was going to be found. We’ve had a lot of sanding over here and there’s always the possibility of another metal detectorist finding it. I had my PI set at maximum sensitivity and it took 4 or 5 scoops to pull it out from a depth of at least 10-12 inches or more.
Evan had shared his story with me on just how important his ring was to him and it truly touched me. Every ring return brings me great joy but this has a very special meaning and one I’ll never forget!!!
I mailed Evan’s Ring Monday and he got it today, Wednesday. I got a text from him saying “WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE!!!! You have mail coming your way but will never understand how grateful I am for you and all of your tireless hours!!!!”
This is what this is all about and it just doesn’t get any better than this.
Evan – Thank you so much for the opportunity and your trust in me to find your treasure!!
Thank you for reading my blog.