This adventure started out with a text message at 10:28 am on Saturday, August 19th. The text read, “Hi! My name is Samantha. I saw you on ring finders and was wondering if you’d be interested in a hunt on Carolina Beach? Or could you put me in touch with someone if I’m out of your range? I lost my wedding rings sitting on the beach yesterday. I would appreciate any help or advice!” The text included her number, so I called for more details. When we talked, we agreed we’d meet in a particular parking lot at 3 pm. I had already made arrangements to meet another lady on a different beach for a separate search at 12:30. I was finished with that search in time to drive the hour plus to Carolina Beach and meet Samantha on time.
As we’re walking the block to the beach, I learned there were actually 3 rings missing. She had lost her wedding band, her engagement ring, and a gold ring her parents had given her. Samantha said that she was in town to attend a bachelorette party. She had come a day early to enjoy a peaceful day on the beach reading her book. Once she had her chair in place, she took her 3 rings off and put in the cup holder to apply sunscreen. She had moved her chair once during the day. When she was ready to go, she folded the chair up and walked to the water’s edge to rinse the sand off the chair legs. When she got back to the car and looked at her hand, the shock set in. She immediately returned to where she was sitting and did a visual search and then did a pin drop on her phone for the location. When we got to the beach she walked us through the Saturday afternoon crowd to the spot of the pin drop. Surprisingly, there was only one guy sitting in the way. I turned my Equinox 800 on and started a perpendicular grid search from the dry sand to the incoming tide line. Within a grid line or two, I hit a 10 on the VDI (visual display indicator), a great number for a small yellow gold ring. I dug a scoop of sand out, checked the hole and had the target in the scoop. I dumped the sand on the beach and ran the coil over it and hit the target. I got down on my hands and knees and spread the sand out until I saw the ring. When I first showed it to Samantha, she didn’t think it was hers until she got a closer look and exclaimed (loudly) “that’s my wedding band.” She was so excited; I almost saw a tear, but she held it back. Ok, 1 ring down 2 to go. I showed her the hole and asked her if that was where she had been sitting. She replied that’s about where she was when she washed the chair legs off. I started the grid again from the hole, which had now filled in from the incoming tide. A few more steps and about ankle deep in water, I got another hit showing 10 on the VDI. I dug the target out and carefully washed the excess sand out at the water’s edge. I saw the engagement ring in the bottom of the scoop and walked over to Samantha and let her reach in the scoop and pull her ring out. That put her over the top with excitement, still no tears through, she was really trying hard not to cry. I continued the search for the 3rd ring for another 20 minutes or so and Samantha said she had to go. I told her when I found it I’ll call her and we’d work something out to get it back to her. I searched for another 30 minutes doing a complete search then did a cross grid and wasn’t able to find her 3rd ring. By this time the tide had come in enough that the water was covering my tracks. Although disappointed I couldn’t find the 3rd ring, Samantha was overjoyed she had her wedding and engagement rings back.
Samantha – Thank you for letting me help find your lost rings. So excited you got them back.