I had orginally gotten a call on August 11th, 2016 from Jeff H. stating he had lost his wedding band in the ocean which turned out to be right at mid-tide. He went on to say he had been in and out of the ocean over the course of a few hours and wasn’t really sure when, where or how deep he was when it slipped off his finger. I was just wrapping up another ring find with Jim Brouwer and was waiting for the couple to come back to the beach to get their ring when Jeff called. Jim agreed to go ahead and head to Jeff’s resort and start looking and I followed soon after.
When I got to the resort Jim already had a grid search going from the mid tide line seaward so I started a grid search at the current tide line and worked seaward. After a few hours, the tide turned, we weren’t having any luck and it was getting dark and neither one of us had our head lamps so we called it quits. I made at least 3 maybe 4 more trips out and searched north/south and east/west grids and felt really confident that I had covered the area as well as I could.
Fast forward to Hurricane Mathew, we didn’t get the sand movement on the beach that we (the guys that metal detect) had hoped for but we did have some. There’s 3 lost rings that I had gotten calls on this summer that I haven’t found yet so I thought this would be a good opportunity to give each one another shot. Jeff’s ring was number 2 on my list so I had planned on going out this week for one last crack at it. Oddly enough, Jeff text me Saturday evening (Oct 15th) asking “did the hurricane wash up my ring?” We text back and forth and I let him know I was going to give it one more shot. Shortly after we finished I contacted my son-in-law Donnie and asked if he was available to help find this ring sometime this week. We set it up to search at low tide Monday (Oct 17th). I got there maybe 10 minutes before Donnie and was working a grid from the middle of the resort north and from the wet sand to about chest deep in the ocean. When Donnie showed up I had him start his grid from the south side of the resort and work north to the middle, this way our machines wouldn’t be interfering with each other and we could cover the area quickly before the tide turned. I was digging a target in the wet sand within 10 minutes of Donnie starting his grid search when he walked up behind me and dropped a ring on the sand at my feet. I looked at it and couldn’t believe he’d found Jeff’s ring after 2 months in the ocean. We confirmed the inscription on the inside of the ring with what Jeff had told me and BINGO, we had a match!
I took a picture of the ring and text Jeff and then called him. In his own words he was speechless. I’ll never know whether the hurricane helped move enough sand or the extra low tide helped us get out to the deeper ocean but nonetheless Jeff has his ring back where it belongs. Along with the picture he sent me of him and his wife, Michelle, he also sent me the picture with their hands together titled “back together”. There’s nothing more I can add!
Donnie, thank you for all your help and making it possible to get this ring home.
Jeff and Michelle, thank you for trusting in me to help find your treasure. Best of luck to you both!!
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