This adventure started with a post on the Friends of Holden Beach FB page from Erin on Saturday, May 14th. The post read in part, that her husband had lost his tungsten carbide wedding band on the beach. She also gave the house’s addresses that the ring was lost between. I immediately responded to the post saying, “Call me if I can help,” and added the link to my blog page from TheRingFinders.com. I also sent her a private message with the same information, as a follow up and to show this wasn’t a scam. I didn’t get a response from Erin until midafternoon on Sunday. She thanked me for my message but stated the ring was not very valuable so she didn’t think me coming to Holden Beach would be worth my time and travel. Personally, anytime I can help someone attempt to find their lost treasure it’s worth my time and travel. I know every member of The Ring Finders feels exactly the same way. That’s just what we do and we love it! Anyway, I think, and I may be wrong, but Erin and her husband, Burke thought that the ring was gone forever. She told me that by the time Burke realized his ring was gone, and they went back out to the beach; the tide had come in and the entire area was under water. She also mentioned that they thought Burke might have taken the ring off and had it in his lap. Then when they were ready to go he had forgotten about it, he stood up and it disappeared. I was sure her husband’s ring would be within inches of where it was dropped. Since the ring was a heavy metal, it would quickly sink in the wet sand as the incoming tide covered it with more sand. I told her I had nothing else going on and that it was the sentimental value that’s important. At that point, Erin gave me a general area of where they had been sitting. I sent her a Google earth map, showing 4 squares I had drawn, labeled A,B,C, and D and asked her which area. She responded “Definitely B”, so she was able to narrow the area down a lot. Unfortunately, Erin and Burke were on their way back home and wouldn’t be available the next day to put me on the spot. I got a few more details and was ready to hit the outgoing tide the next afternoon (Monday). The only thing left to figure out was parking. Holden Beach has just eliminated street parking and gone to a pay to park in the few lots they have and there’s no lots available on the west end of the island where I needed to go. Luckily, another response to Erin’s original FB post was a lady named Anne that was two houses down from where I needed to search. I sent her a private message asking if it was possible if I could park in her driveway. Within minutes and without hesitation she responded “Sure.” Problem solved, now all I had to do was find Burke’s ring.
On Monday, May 16th, I arrived on the beach at 12:30 pm to start my search. Knowing the overall area, I started a parallel grid search from the top of the beach working towards the tide line. After about 30 minutes working this grid search, Erin’s father, James, came out on the beach. We introduced ourselves and talked for a few minutes. He then walked me out a little closer to the surf and a little east of where I was and showed me the area they all had been sitting. I extended the 4 sides of this search area so I’d be sure to cover it all. About my 4th line I got an iffy signal, it was within the VDI (visual display indicator) range I was looking for. But it was showing something I’d expect for a crusted penny that’s been buried in the sand for a long time. As I always do, when I’m looking for someone’s treasure, I dig everything I hear. This find proved my point. After 2 scoops of sand, I had the target out of the hole. I shook the sand out of the scoop and heard the clanging of metal. Bingo! I had Burke’s wedding band in the scoop. Thank you James, moving me when you did saved me about 30 minutes of added search. My wife had come with me to look for shells and I had her take a picture that I sent to Erin. I got an immediate response “OH MY GOSH JIM!!! I can’t believe it!!!!”
Anne – Thank you for giving me a place to park for the search. That was a big help!
James – Thank you for everything!!
Erin/Burke – Thank you for trusting in me and The Ring Finders to help find your treasure and get it back where it belongs. I wish you two only the best in life.