Double-Arm Backstroke Ring Found! Lake Butte des Morts, Wisconsin!

  • from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

Sunday, September 4, 2022, found Minneapolis couple and their family, Jason & Kate Helquist, enjoying Lake Butte des Morts in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It was a perfect weekend away with friends.

Anchored off shore in a boat, the family had taken to swimming in the lake shallows. But delight turned to disappointment when Jason’s platinum wedding ring went missing. He was performing a double-arm backstroke, churning up the water in a splashy escape from his teen-aged daughter’s playful attack. The force pulled the otherwise snug-fitting ring from his finger.

Kate contacted me the next day when she discovered The Ring Finder’s directory of metal-detecting specialists. Who knew!

Technology can be so helpful. Kate sent me a marked-up Google satellite image of the location. Calculating the search area, I determined it covered nearly the size of ten volleyball courts. On land, no problem. In water, definitely more challenging! I also learned the water was about 3 ½ to 4 feet deep, making a wading search feasible. However, finding a postage-stamp-sized object in a vast lake would require patience and an extra-careful grid search. There was little room for error.

We arranged to meet early, Wednesday, September 14. Kate left her home in Minneapolis in the wee small hours of the morning to make the 3 ½ hour drive to Oshkosh. I drove 1 ½ hours from my home. Upon arrival, Kate expressed how she was at peace about the outcome either way, but I could sense deep down she was hoping for a miracle. Clearly, it was more than just a ring.

A kind land owner granted access to the area from his lakefront home. Once in the water, I set out four marker buoys and began a systematic search using the latest water-detecting equipment from XP Deus. The usual targets were retrieved, pull tabs, bottle caps, fishing lures, coins, boat parts, shotgun brass from long-ago duck hunters. Lake bottoms tell so many stories. However, Jason’s ring eluded discovery.

Kate and a friend waited expectantly on shore. After three-plus meticulous hours, I consulted with Kate again and we agreed to expand the search area. It was not long after, Jason’s wedding ring lay glistening in my scoop!

Gear in tow, I waded back to the boat dock where Kate met me. Retrieving the ring from my pouch, I reached up from the water and placed it into her trembling hand. Tears flowed—the most-happy kind! A FaceTime call to Jason in Minneapolis revealed a smile that, like Kate’s, confirmed the deep love represented by a well-worn, lost-but-now-found wedding ring!

If you or someone you know has lost a ring, don’t give up hope. Let a metal-detecting specialist at put a smile on your face!

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