On Tuesday night, about 7:30 p.m., I received an email from Richard. It stated, “Hi Jim, I found your name on theringfinders.com. My family and I are in Caswell Beach/Oak Island for the week and I lost my wedding ring in the ocean today so wondering if you have any availability to help us look for it. I lost it around 2:30-2:45pm today (7/14), I was jumping waves with my 5 year old so we were in knee deep water. The ring is a platinum wedding band. Let me know what other info you need from me, Thanks for your help, Richard.” I knew he lost it right at high tide, and with the hour drive to Caswell Beach, I could get there about an hour before low tide. I responded to his email with my phone number and said “call me.” I grabbed my Equinox 800, and headed north. Along the way, I emailed Richard again saying I was on my way, with an ETA of 8:30 pm. Within a few minutes, Richard called me and gave me the address.
When I arrived, Richard was waiting outside; we introduced ourselves, and headed for the beach. Richard showed me the area where he had lost his ring, pointing out his wife, Kathryn, who was in the wet sand. I asked Kathryn what she remembered, she pointed to a sand castle where they had been sitting. She said her and their other 2 children were out a little farther in the water, while Richard and their 5 year old were to the right of the sand castle and in more shallow water. I told them I expected the ring to be closer to the higher tide line and then started a perpendicular grid search in the middle of the search area. As I’m working my way out from the center line, I look down and see my coil dangling from the shaft. This was not good, from all aspects! The rabbit ears holding the coil to the shaft had broken and there was no way to fix it. I always take 2 metal detectors on ring searches, but I was so confident that this would be an easy, 10 minute search at the most, that I just grabbed one detector. To keep from having to come back in the morning, I wrapped the cord around the shaft as tight as it would go, and literally drug the coil on top of the sand to detect. It wasn’t the best solution, but it worked. About 45 minutes into the search and almost at the end of the search area, I got a great signal. I dug a scoop of sand, tried my best to check the hole with the coil, and was sure I had it. I took my foot and spread the wet sand out, turned my headlamp on in the pitch black night and nothing. This was definitely not my best showing, especially in front of the person that lost their treasure that I’m trying to find. Ok, I used both hands to pick up bits of the sand and shells, crushing it between my fingers in hopes of feeling the ring. Bingo, felt it in my hand. I held the ring over my backlight to confirm it was what I was looking for, it was. I walked up to Richard, giving him the sad story about not being able to find it. He understood and as he was saying it was time to call it a night, I held the ring up. With the help of the detector backlight he could see his ring. He texted Kathryn real quick, and she comes back out on the beach. Richard had his treasure back on his finger where it belonged.
Richard and Kathryn – thank you for allowing me to help find your lost treasure. Have a great rest of your vacation and a safe trip home.