I got a text message from Mark on Thursday, Aug 29th saying that he had lost his Rolex watch, while fishing, in the Lockwoods Folly River and wondered if I could help. At some point, Mark told me that his wife, Joanna, had gotten him the watch as a present and it had a great deal of sentimental value attached. He knew the watch, itself, could be replaced, but not the memories.
I was concerned about the depth of the water and what the bottom of the river was. He said the depth was about 5 feet at low tide, which is pushing my limit, and didn’t know about the bottom. A lot of the marsh bottom in North and South Carolina has what’s called “Pluff Mud.” In earlier century’s it was called “Plough Mud,” because it was used to fertilize cotton fields that were depleted of nutrients. Anyway, it is nasty, it’s made up of dead grasses, fish, crabs, shrimp, and anything else that dies and decays in the water, it stinks, literally! When you step in it, it sucks you down, and what was at your ankles is now at your knees or thighs. So I was real anxious about searching in those kinds of conditions, but agreed to meet him on Saturday. I talked to my son-in-law, Donnie, who is a certified diver, about it and was thinking of him taking this call, but decided I’d give it a shot. Donnie has helped me on a number of searches, and I knew he’d jump at the chance of this search.
On Saturday, Mark and Joanna picked me up at one of the boat docks in Holden Beach, NC and we took a 20-25 minute boat ride to get the search area. Matt told me that the evening he lost his watch that he was having problems with his outboard motor so he was getting his trolling motor ready to use to get him back home. At some point in the process, he hit the trolling motor with his watch making the clasp come apart sending his watch in the water. When we got to the search area, Mark beached his boat and told me the search area was within 15 feet of the stern of the boat. We were bucking a strong current, but managed to search the area for a couple of hours or so. After searching what I could, I knew I was in over my head, and I’d need Donnie and his scuba diving abilities to help. While we were waiting for the tide to come back in, because we were now high and dry, and grounded on the beach; I called Donnie. I let him and Mark work out the details on the date and times both were available.
Fast forward to Monday, Donnie and Mark met at the same boat dock and headed out around 6:30am. I got a text from Donnie about 11:30 saying “No luck” but he was going to get lunch, fill up his air tanks and go back out with Mark and try again. At 6:22pm Donnie texted: “found it!” I got a few details from Donnie about his search, and the picture and video of him and Mark.
Donnie – thanks so much for your help and your “awesome” scuba skills and “fantastic” underwater metal detecting services.
Mark and Joanna – so happy and excited for you that Donnie was able to find and recover your lost treasure!