I received a phone call from David, from a local property management company in early December about a ring that was lost in a lake behind one of the homes in the gated community. The information given to me was third hand, but seemed pretty straight forward. Alex, in his eighties was throwing a crab trap into the salt water lake. As he did it stripped the ring from his finger and deposited it into the water. Alex had reserved himself to the thought that the ring was probably gone forever. Alex’s children contacted the property management company and asked if there was anything that might be done. David found TheRingFinders.com. Alex’s children were hoping that we might find the ring so they could present it back to him for Christmas.
I met David at the property. He gave me the information as he got it from the kids. After securing permission from the HOA I returned a few days later with waders and my CTX 30-30 and my Excalibur. Thinking this was going to be easy, I jumped off the seawall with the Excal to work 25′ by 40′ grid. Immediately I realized the bottom of the lake was full of trash. Since the water was only about knee deep I asked my wife to hand me the CTX so I had an idea what targets were sounding off. After setting some discrimination I worked the area pretty hard for an hour plus. I removed several larger targets that might have been causing interference, but I was not getting the type of signal that I wanted to see. I was also getting feedback from hot rocks and the seawall bolts any time I got the 17” coil next to the bulkhead. I expanded the grid, but after awhile I assumed I was getting bad info in this third hand translation. I gave up until more info, preferably from the source, was given to me.
Alex phoned earlier this week telling me who he was and asked if I was interested in giving it another try. I met him at the house the next day. Alex assured me he would put me in a 6 foot radius. I remembered all the trash in the lake and the seawall feedback, so I took along my Gold Bug Pro with the smaller coil. I knew that would help get between trash to see a good target. I had Alex rub his left earlobe for luck. After removing more trash and some hot rocks I worked a 15 by 15′ area. I was becoming annoyed that I was not finding this ring. Alex explained from land that he used a castnet to try and retrieve the ring the day he lost it. After hearing that, I knew he dragged the ring closer to the seawall. I came right up next to the bulkhead with Fisher Gold Bug and there it was. A 62 on the interface told me what I wanted to know. One scoop and a glint of gold confirmed the rest. At 82 Alex can still jump, as I witnessed “The Ring Dance”. With a great big smile, Alex explained to me that this ring had been given to him by his late wife Ginger on their 25th wedding anniversary. I could see him reminisce. Then he joyfully said “Hot Dog!”, or something like that. Although, not the timely Christmas gift that the kids had hoped for, the end result everybody wanted was achieved.
Alex, Thank You for the generous reward. Thanks to all for your trust in me to find this ring.
I got an phone call the Monday before Christmas from Richard. He and I go back nearly forty years. “Are you still doing that “Ring Finders Thing”? This was how the conversation started. Richard and his son Rick are owners and operators of a local plumbing company. Richard went on to explain that his son lost his wedding band the night before while fixing some broken and frozen water lines. He told me that Rick played it off as an “Oh Well!”, but Richard could tell that it hurt him to lose. We set a time to meet at the church that afternoon. His last words to me were “Bring your rubber boots.”
Boy, Richard was not kidding about the boots. There was a 60′ open trench exposing the water lines. On each side of this trench was a pile of the hand dug mud, clay and dirt. There was a pump in the trench removing the water to allow an easier search. Richard also explained about another area about 40 yards away where they were using an excavator. The ground between the trench and the area that they unloaded the machinery was chewed beyond recognition by the tracks. I had Richard and Pastor Danny rub there left earlobe and say a quick prayer for luck as I started the search. I searched the grounds between the trench and the excavator first, as I waited for the pumps to do their job. False signals were ever present. I was happy to have the discriminating power of the CTX 30-30. After 15 to 20 minutes of working that side of the trench and its’ diggings, I moved around to the other side. I worked the trench and the diggings without the all familiar “Gold Tone” from the Minelab. I started working a small patch of brush just outside of the dirt pile. I got a crisp signal that looked to be a pull tab in the response, but investigated it anyway. “Whoop, there it is”. There in a clump of mud was Ricky’s wedding band. Richard snatched the ring from my hand and crushed me with a big hug. He and Pastor Danny let out a great big “whoop” and then it happened. “The Ring Dance”. Richard’s smile turned into a quivering chin and a tear swelled under his eye. But big boys don’t cry… It must have been something in his eye.
Richard said he was going to give the ring to Rick for Christmas. I reminded him that Rick’s wife might decide to replace it for a gift and that he needed to let her in on the idea. Richard couldn’t stand it though, and wrapped it up and presented it to Rick that afternoon. It was a rewarding hunt for me to be able to help friends, as most of the time I am getting calls from complete strangers.
This blog story has been waiting for a few months to be written. As I write this, it is 32 degrees outside. Nobody, including me, is walking on the beaches of the Grand Strand. This morning I am dreaming of warmer days.
I got a phone call from Abraham the last week of August. Abraham had lost a 14kt white gold wedding band. Abraham and his lovely wife Rebecca were vacationing in Myrtle Beach. Abraham explained that they were riding jet skis launched from the beach at one of the rental areas along The Strand when he noticed his missing wedding band. My thoughts upon hearing this were, “Great! That ring could be anywhere, including a half mile out in the Atlantic Ocean”. Abraham went on to explain that as he was getting off of the jet ski he got tangle in the safety cut off switch lanyard. Abraham fell into the 2 feet of water. After righting himself he noticed that his wedding band was missing. He felt certain that that is where the ring came off. Abraham and Rebecca had returned home to the Philly area, but wondered if I could help.
After researching the tide cycles from the previous day, I felt like low tide at the waters edge was my best bet. I got to the beach of the jet ski rental and noticed that people were returning the skis in a 100 yard area. I asked one of the attendants if he was aware of the ring that was lost the day before. “Yea, somewhere out in that area” was not much help to me. I decided to work a smaller grid on the south end of this area to start, then expand the grid as needed. After working the grid for 20 minutes I got a great signal. It was actually the first signal I got. Abraham’s white gold wedding band shone brightly in the bottom of my sand scoop. As I was taking pictures of the ring on the back of one of the skis the attendant came to the realization that I had found the ring. Another attendant explained that he thought Abraham had left a reward at the rental office. I talked with the office to make sure Abraham did not leave any money on the table. What I found was a “promissory note” for a very handsome reward. I sent a text to Abraham, and a picture of his wedding band. His response came back after a few minutes, “I could just kiss you, and I don’t even know you”. I laughed and told him I would only accept a kiss from Rebecca. Abraham’s ring is now back on his finger in Philly, and all is right with the world.
Abraham, thank you for the reward. 15% has been donated the Shrine Children’s Hospital Road Runners.
Abraham and Rebecca Are Camera Shy.
I received an email as well as a phone call from Rick. “I just lost my wedding band in the surf in Myrtle Beach”. I was finishing up with a customer of my business. I just happen to have my detector in the truck and told Rick I would be there in 30 minutes. It is always great for us when you can meet somebody on site that was affiliated with the loss. It helps so much with information and location. We don’t have to be mind readers. Many times we are operating with phone calls, Google Earth and a persons memory. The more somebody pays attention to their surroundings at the time of the loss helps in all cases.
I met Rick and his daughter at the beach in front of their resort. We walked to the area that he lost his wedding band and Rick told me he paced it off from the Lifeguard stand. 14 paces this way, 20 paces that way and Rick announced that he was standing on his ring. Rick stared down into the knee deep water and just could not see his wedding band. The band of love that his wife Laura had placed on his finger years before. Rick was so confident that he was standing within feet of his ring. I fired up my CTX 30-30, had everybody rub their left earlobe, and began to search. Rick, and another well wisher, had become so planted in this spot that I had to ask them politely to give me some room to work. I worked a grid of 30 feet by 30 feet for 10 minutes or so and was becoming frustrated with no signal to my ears. I asked Rick how the ring came off his finger, and he explained that his back was to the water when a wave smacked him from behind. I thought about how the ring would have traveled with the wave for several feet before settling into the sand. I moved to the water’s edge of a dropping tide and moved just a few feet to hear that beautiful Minelab gold tone. I approached Rick and held out my sand scoop to let him pluck his white gold wedding band from its bottom. “No way… You found it”! shouted Rick and his well wishing friend. Within 30 minutes we replaced Rick’s look of worry with a huge smile. Rick placed the ring on his finger and just stared at it for a moment. (“The Ring Dance”)
As Ring Finders, we come to a search equipped with the tools of our craft. But, The first tool in the search is the information we get from the person that lost their precious belongings. When you lose something, when you can, pay attention to everything that is around you. Find landmarks, place a marker, pace off distances and try to get us within feet of your treasure. The person that lost something is the first tool in any search. Great job Rick, in putting me in the right location. All the best to you and your family. And thank you for the generous reward.
I received an email July 22nd from Todd about a lost wedding band. Todd was enjoying the beach with family, six days ago, with his wife Danielle and three children. Playing in the water near high tide, Todd felt the ring come off his finger in the waist deep surf. The loss happened 6 days before on the 16th. Joking about being in the “Dog House” with his loving bride Danielle, he asked if I thought it was possible to find his ring. The very ring that she put on his finger 9 years before.
Todd told me that he lost the ring between Beach Access 1 and Beach Access 2. I said, “Todd that is a block of beach and it was six days ago”. I was not feeling good about this already. Todd then explained that when he felt the ring slide off he paused and composed himself and got some good landmarks on the beach. He told me about a beach house that had a set of stairs that came out to the beach a little farther than the other beach house stairs. He said He was just a couple yards south of that when he lost his ring. Low tide that afternoon was going to be around 3 as I went to the beach to search. When I got there I found the beach packed with beach goers. I knew that I would have a hard time holding any kind of grid pattern so I returned home. I would get up at 4 in the morning and work the beach without the hindrance of all the people. Getting to the beach in the dark I walked until I got to the set of stairs Todd had told me about. I started what was going to be a 40 yard grid in shin deep water, working back to dry sand. It was about 30 to 40 minutes when I got a crisp signal on my “old friend”(CTX 30-30). Pin Point was telling me 12 inches as I set the sand scoop to work. It was just getting light enough to see the ring in the bottom of the scoop. I laughed to myself, alone on the beach, and did “The Ring Dance” as the sunrise was just breaking the morning. I sent Todd a text message showing him my office for that moment, along with another picture of his lost wedding band. He responded almost immediately with his disbelief and joy. I knew he was probably doing his own ring dance in Kentucky. I have to give Todd credit for composing his anxieties and paying attention to his surroundings when he felt the ring leave his finger. Without that knowledge to work with I may never have found it. Great Job in putting me on the right spot.
I received a phone call Wednesday night from a quietly distressed young lady named Hayley. She told me about losing her rose gold promise ring in the water earlier that day. This ring was presented to her by a young suitor named Luke. It was around 8:00 in the evening and there were several thunderstorms in our area, so I told Hayley we would see her in the morning for her search.
I met Hayley and her best friend’s brother, Israel, at one of our local beachfront campgrounds. After following them to their site I got my gear ready for a golf cart ride to the beach. As I was getting ready I was asking about the loss. As it turns out, while swimming in the ocean the day before, Israel had asked to see the beautiful diamond rich testimony to young love. When he went to hand it back to Hayley in the chest deep calm water he dropped it. Hearing the story I could feel both of their anxieties rising at the thought of it. I explained that they lost the ring in a mid to high tide time frame, and that today’s low tide was going to be a negative tide. I told them we should find the ring around calf deep at low tide. Israel sure liked the sound of my confidence in the search as he was reliving the picture of the ring slipping from his fingers. I had both of them rub their left earlobes for luck as we headed to the beach.
The water was very calm as I went waist deep sporting my recently returned CTX 3030. I was happy to have my trusted friend with me on this water search. I worked a grid back to ankle deep water. It was a little frustrating trying to deal with the beach goers who kept wading into the water and then stopping in front of me. I was also being stalked by two very curious little boys who just had to know what I was up to. Once I got into the shallow water it was easier to move. I got that familiar “gold tone” on the Minelab. I sure love that sound. 12:28 at 6” was confirming what I was hearing. One scoop later I was staring at an absolutely beautiful ring. I looked up the beach to see Israel watching me. I took off the earphones and rubbed my left earlobe. This got him moving my direction from his beach chair. Hayley had left the beach momentarily to get something back at the house. When she returned to the beach I told her that I was going to suspend the search. Hayley seemed hurt by this fact until Israel pulled the ring from his shirt pocket. Israel was very happy to give Hayley back the ring he dropped the day before. As it always happens, Hayley did “The Ring Dance”. A big smile turned into a quivering chin as she put the ring back on her finger. You know, “The Ring Dance”. I thought that was going to take longer than the 45 minutes it took. Darn! Now I have to go back to work.
Israel and Hayley, thanks for trusting me with this search. Thank you also for the reward. Good luck to Hayley and Luke with the future. And lastly thanks to “Big Jim Wren” for sending this search my direction.
I received a phone call from Kaylynn Tuesday afternoon about her fiance’s lost tungsten promise ring. Jake had the ring slip from his finger just two hours before in the mid to high tide waters of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Jake lost the ring in waist deep water. The tide was dropping at the time of her phone call. Time was on her side, darkness was not. I met Kaylynn in the parking lot of the beach resort they were staying and we moved quickly to the beach as she described the loss. On the beach I met Jake and Kaylynn’s father. Dad was sitting in a chair and kept a visual on the area the ring was lost. I had everybody present rub their left earlobe as I began the search. The beach in the area was now dry and made me feel good about our search. Kaylynn and Jake walked me out to the area they thought best for the search. There was a new problem happening as we spoke. As the tide was receding, one of our storm water swashes was cutting a trough in the newly exposed beach right in the middle of our search area. The swash was removing beach sand at a rapid rate. When I entered the running water I soon realized that I was only going to be able to search in one direction, down stream. I would walk down steam in the water for about 35 yards, and return up the dry sand at water’s edge. I went back into the water a little deeper each pass and returned a little wider. I was having no luck. I expanded the grid to include the area where the running water met the ocean water, thinking that where they met the ring would have a chance to settle and sink in the sand. Now in darkness Jake ran to the car to get a flash light. The back light on my detector was not functioning, and it was impossible to see anything in the sand scoop. After an hour I was ready to give up thinking that the search might be easier in the daylight. As a last ditch effort I decided to expand the grid just a few yards farther south just to make sure. Just three feet outside my original grid I got the signal and numbers I was looking for. With the flash light I confirmed what I already knew, there was a “ring in the scoop”. I walked to where the young couple was sitting and told them that I was calling off the search…wait…wait… because I found Jake’s ring. Jake was a little reserved, but Kaylynn did “the ring dance” as I returned Jake’s ring.
Kaylynn and Jake, thank you for the reward. I wish the both of you much happiness in your future.
I received a rather nervous phone call from Lindsay Friday morning. Lindsay lost her 3 ring wedding engagement set Thursday afternoon while enjoying the beach with her husband Trippett and their three daughters. The family was sitting about the mid tide area of the beach during low tide. Lindsay had removed her, 3 separate , ring set and placed them in the cup holder on a fold up beach chair. Being a good mom she removed them to put sunscreen on the girls. When it was time to leave Lindsay rounded up kids while Trippett Rounded up stuff. Unaware of the rings in the cup holder, Tripp spilled them onto the hard wet sand just before night fall. The diamond that was in the engagement ring belonged to Tripp’s grandmother, Eleanor’s engagement ring from years gone by, and had great sentimental value to Lindsay and Tripp.
I met Trippett and the two older girls at the beach Friday afternoon to show me the area the rings were thought to be lost. This included the possibility that the rings may have stayed in the cup holder until they climbed the stairs at the dune cross over several yard away. Tripp and the girls left as I started my grid search on the lower beach. I cross grid the lower beach marking every inch of the 40 yard square. With the exception of a couple areas that people were sitting, I exhausted the area and moved to the upper beach toward the stairs. After covering that ground I moved back to the lower beach and expanded the grid again. Lindsay came down to the beach and met with me briefly. I told Lindsay that I had pretty much covered the beach, with the exception of those few areas that had people camped out. About 15 minutes after Lindsay and youngest daughter Eleanor left the beach, some of the people were leaving the area. I went back to one such area of 25′ x 25′ and immediately got a nice signal on a borrowed A.T. Pro. (Minelab in the shop for repairs). I pulled up a beautiful platinum band with inlaid diamonds. This was one of the two bands I was after as well as the main engagement ring. I got excited as I now felt like I was in the right area after 2 1/2 hours. I handed the ring to my wife who sat nearby and returned to find the main engagement ring 5 feet away in four inches of sand. Back to the wife, back to the spot. I searched for another ten minutes and just knew the last ring was there. I got a real faint signal, about 20′ away, on the A.T. Pro that was telling me 8”.” That ring couldn’t be that deep”. I almost passed up the signal thinking pull tab, but decided to make sure. Up came the third ring in the sand pile that I dumped on the beach. My wife laughed as I did the goofy, fat boy ring dance. I called Lindsay on the phone to give her the good news. Lindsay and (name sake) daughter Eleanor met me at the truck where I presented her with her rings. Smiles, hugs, tears and shaking hands, (“The Ring Dance”) Lindsay put her rings back onto the finger that they belong to. Baby Eleanor didn’t understand any of it. Trippet and Lindsay, Thank You for the very generous reward, and remember, when you need a little luck, say a quick prayer and rub the left earlobe. All the best to you all.
15% of all rewards go to Shriners Children’s Hospital “Road Runners”.
I received a phone call from Amy last Wednesday. She explained to me that, while getting her son ready for summer camp with a last minute dousing of sun block, she took her engagement ring off and set it on top of her car. This happened Monday. A friend had told her about seeing something about a group of “Ring Finders” and to look us up. I told Amy that I would meet her on Thursday after work and I would see what we might be able to do. I had forgotten that my wife’s birthday was Thursday, so I called Amy that afternoon to explain that my wife did not want to be a Ring Finder Widow on her birthday, lest I be in trouble. (Not Really) I begged off with Amy until Saturday Morning and cooler weather.
I met Amy and her husband Joe at their house Saturday morning and we talked about her movements before the loss of her ring. Amy told me that she did not notice her ring missing for almost 3 miles. Amy also explained that she and Joe, and a few neighbors had looked in the neighborhood on the street and in a couple yards with a borrowed metal detector. They had also turned a piece of costume jewelry into a “crash dummy”as they tried to simulate the loss. Everybody was surprised at how long the ring actually stayed with the car. Amy was determined to be part of the search, so I gave Amy a few pointers with her borrowed metal detector and explained our game plan. We would walk each side of the road and detect the road apron while also doing a visual search on the road. When we got to where she remembered her ring we would switch sides and return toward the house. No offense to Amy, but this was to make sure I worked both sides of the road on the search. I tried to stay positive as my detector was picking up every piece of can slaw that had been left by the mowers on the county road. Two turns, two bottles of water and two hours later we reached our turn around spot at almost two miles. We switched sides of the road and started back. We were both hot and bothered at this point in the 90 degree heat. As we neared the front of Amy’s subdivision I told myself to slow down as this would be the area that she would have been accelerating onto the county road. For the next 80 yards I would let the detector talk to my ears while I did a visual more toward the ditch. At 60 yards from her street I saw the glint of something in the grass. “That’s not a pull tab”. I rubbed my eyes in disbelief as I stared at a white gold princess cut engagement ring in the grass beside the ditch about 8 feet away. No Way! I picked up the ring and looked toward Amy. She had not noticed. I walked across the county road to where she was standing. Hot, flushed and sweaty, she looked at me. I asked her if she thought we gave it a good try. Sad, but ready to be out of the sun as much as I was, she said she was happy that we gave it a try. I then asked her if she believed in miracles as I held up her engagement ring. She stared at it for a few seconds in disbelief. Then a “woop”, a scream (maybe an expletive, I wasn’t sure) and then a few tears. Yep! “The Ring Dance”. Amy’s hands trembled as she returned the ring to its rightful spot on her finger. When we got to the house and she showed her husband Joe the ring, it was “The Ring Dance” all over again. Joe hugged Amy in tearful disbelief. He the came my direction and place a couple tears on my shoulder as well.
Amy, you’re a trooper with a metal detector. You can be on my team anytime.
Amy and Joe, may you have another 16 years together with this ring. Thank you so much for the generous reward! Remember not to listen to all the neigh sayers. Miracles Happen!
Last week Jim Wren was contacted through his Ring Finders Face Book. Savannah had sent him a note about her husband Kirk losing his wedding band on their honeymoon in Myrtle Beach. Jim is the Ring Finder that covers North Myrtle Beach and area beaches over the border in North Carolina. Since the ring search was in Myrtle Beach, Jim graciously called me and asked if I wanted to cover it. I called Savannah, who had returned to her home in Kentucky, and got all the particulars on the beach area that needed to be searched. I assured a distraught Savannah that we had a good chance at finding this ring. I called Jim Wren back and explained that the ring was lost in the waters edge at low tide 4 days ago, and that I felt like time and darkness was going to be an issue. I wanted to cover a lot of sand quickly, so I asked Jim if he wanted to join me. Jim and I searched into the darkness against an angry rising tide. We were getting several signals but were having a hard time staying on the targets as the waves pushed us around. Jim and I talked and we both felt like the ring was there, but the struggle against the elements was hindering our efforts. We agreed to work the area again 2 days later. We met in the morning’s low tide before the wind started tormenting the water. I jumped into the water about waist deep and started north – south. Jim started an east – west grid that had him going from ankle to waist deep water. About half way through the grid Jim descended into the water just in front of me. I saw Jim concentrating on a target so I gave him some room to not give his detector any feedback from mine. Jim shouted my direction as he started moving toward the dry beach. From 30 feet away I could make out the black silhouette of the ring through the holes in his sand scoop. Bingo! This was the ring we were looking for. Jim graciously handed me the ring and told be to call Savannah and then write it up. Last year I helped Jim on a ring search where I found the ring. I handed the ring to Jim and told him to write it up. I think he was giving me pay back. However, the most important part of this ring hunt was that we got to send a message and picture to Savannah, back in Kentucky, and let her know the good news. Kirk’s wedding band would be back on his finger in few days. Savannah was stunned and happy of that fact. She and Kirk had just gone to the jewelers that afternoon to order another ring. Fortunately they were able to cancel the order the next morning. Savannah and Kirk, good luck in your future together. May all of your stories have happy endings. Thanks for entrusting Jim and I with this ring search. Thanks Jim for your excellent help.