On February 13th, I received a phone call from Ryan asking if I could help retrieve his Clemson ring he lost, the day before, in a pond on a private golf course. My first question was, “are there any alligators?” He assured me there wasn’t, and went on to say that he lost it throwing a ball in the pond for his dog to fetch. He also said the ring was in about 6 to 8 foot of water. I told him I was up for the challenge, but I wasn’t a diver. However, my son-in-law, Donnie was, and I’m sure he’d help if I needed him. After all was said and done, I agreed to search but had to wait for a waiver of liability from the golf course. In the meantime, I called Donnie and told him what was going on, and I was going to attempt to recover the ring, and I’d call him if I needed his help.
Ryan sent me a text two days later saying his boss finished the waivers, and I could search as soon as I signed it. I had them make two waivers, in case I needed Donnie to help. We set it up that I’d meet him at 2 p.m. in his office, sign the waiver, and start the search. When I got to his office, I learned he was the Assist. Superintendent, which explained why he was able to have his dog with him on the course. He drove me out to the pond in one of the maintenance carts, and when we pulled up, I thought it didn’t look too bad. Well, looks were deceiving!
As I took my first few steps into the pond, I was sinking at least seven to eight inches in the extremely soft mud. I immediately started picking up great signals, but they were long and narrow. There’s only one thing those could be, yep – Golf clubs! Total, there was two putters, one fairway wood, two club shafts, one grip with a shaft, one tee marker, and two clubs I didn’t pull up.
So as I made my way out to the area Ryan said he saw his ring hit the water; the water was getting colder and deeper. The water temp had to be in the low 50s, my wetsuit helped, but it was still cold! I got out as deep as I could on tiptoes until I was chin deep and still wasn’t in the right spot. I searched as well as I could but wasn’t getting anything close to a small solid signal. I made my way back out of the water, picked up my cell phone and called Donnie.
When Donnie showed up, he had his scuba gear and went right to work. He made his way out and searched with no luck. By then it was almost dark, so we called it a day and made plans to go back.
We decided and planned on going back, today, February 20th. Donnie came up with a plan that he’d run a rope anchored on shore to an anchor buried in the mud past the suspected area. The rope gave him a track line that he could follow while submerged since any movement stirred the mud up and made visibility zero. Close to 30 minutes later, Donnie popped up holding the ring in his hand. Ryan drove up to check on us just as Donnie handed me the ring. Ryan was definitely excited he had his ring back.
Donnie, thanks again for all your help, couldn’t have done this one without you.
Ryan, Thanks for trusting us to find your ring. Good luck in all your future endeavors!