Man’s Wedding Band Lost in the Ocean at Ocean Isle Beach NC, Found 3 months later and Returned

from North Myrtle Beach (South Carolina, United States)
Contact: 1-843-655-5889

I had originally received an e-mail from Katy L. on Sept 23rd telling me her husband had lost his wedding band while body surfing on Sept 15th. They were back home in Tennessee after a family vacation on the beach when the accident happened. We exchanged quite a few e-mails back and forth, one being a very special and extremely sentimental picture and story from Katy. After reading the story and seeing the picture my heart melted and I was determined I would give it my all to find this ring. I got to the beach and conditions were horrible, the waves were big and crashing on the beach. I waded out and was getting hammered by the waves when I got a good signal (which was not the ring). In the process of trying to dig the target I literally got picked up by a wave and slammed down in the water causing me to try and catch myself and ended up breaking the arm cuff to my detector. Anybody that metal detects knows how difficult it can be in rough seas without an arm cuff. So basically I was without a machine for the surf and called my son-in-law, Donnie and asked for his help. When he showed up he did the surf, getting knocked around and I did the wet sand with no luck.

A few days later, still without an arm cuff for my machine, I borrowed a detector from Matt Fry, TRF Myrtle Beach to give it another shot. When I got to the beach the conditions were just as bad as the first try. Again I waded out in the waves, getting pounded as I went. At some point I again got lifted up by a wave and slammed down. This time I tried to brace myself but buried Matt’s coil into the sand and ended up breaking the shaft holding the coil. Ok this was not turning out to be an easy recovery but I got both machines fixed and was ready to go.

Meanwhile, we had been getting some big hurricanes and storms off the coast that was driving tons of sand up on the beach. From the details I got from Katy on where her husband lost his ring, I knew it was there but getting buried deeper by all the sand. I was bound and determined I was going to find this ring so I kept going back hoping for better conditions and less sand.

After at least 7 trips by me and a couple from Donnie, today (Dec 18th) was the day. When I got to the beach at low tide I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Calmer seas (at least for this beach), at least a foot to a foot and a half of sand off the beach and a big cut in the sand. I started a north/south grid search from low tide out to about thigh deep, the water was cold!!!! Worked my way up the beach and started an east/west grid. Probably about 7 grid lines and I got a so-so hit on my White’s Dual Field PI that I dug. The target was down a good 12-15 inches and when I pulled it out of the hole I thought I had a bottle cap because it was covered in sand. I shook the scoop and bingo there was the lost ring. I knew in an instant I had the right one. I just stood there in awe, 3 months and 3 days, 8th trip and I had it. Even I couldn’t comprehend this one.

I flew home to check the picture Katy had sent me and I had her husband’s ring in my hand. I called Katy and reintroduced myself and said I’ve got 2 questions. First, what is your husband’s name and secondly what’s the address to mail his ring back to him. She lost it, made me lose it and neither one of us could talk. Then we had a true serendipity moment, her and her family were just finishing up with an early Christmas, opening presents, etc. when I called. She put me on speaker phone and I think everyone there was in shock. She also informed me a little later that on Dec 28th her and her husband, Will will be celebrating their 4th Wedding Anniversary. The timing on finding their ring, calling at the moment I did and getting their ring back to them before both Christmas and their Anniversary couldn’t have been better. This is exactly the reason I’m a member of The Ring Finders, it does NOT get any better than this!

Will and Katy – Merry Christmas and Happy Anniversary, hope you have many many more of both!!!

Katy, thank you for contacting me and trusting in me to help find your lost treasure. I wish you and Will all the best.

Katy gave me permission to post this very special picture.


6 Replies to “Man’s Wedding Band Lost in the Ocean at Ocean Isle Beach NC, Found 3 months later and Returned”

  1. Matthew Fry says:

    Jim, You are my hero. Your dedication is truly amazing. 8 trips 45 miles up the coast… Wow!

  2. Lisa says:

    Im so proud of you dad!!

  3. Jim Brouwer says:

    Wow!! Incredible!!! Very few would have stuck with it. Your perseverance paid off with one of the best finds and stories of the year. Super, super job!!

  4. Larry Griffith says:

    You should get a Detectorist’s Medal of Honor (above and beyond the duty) for you dedication! The response makes it all worth it.

  5. Katy says:

    Thank you, Jim, for your dedication in finding Will’s ring. It meant more than words!

  6. Mike McInroe says:

    Helping people in these situations and being a part of something so special is truly an honor and privilege, hey Jim?!!!! Way to stick with it and congrats on the return! Keep it up!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *