Ring recovered from Lake Vermillion Minnesota

  • from Chisago City (Minnesota, United States)

By Paul Nolan  Ringfinders

I received a call about a missing ring lost in a lake in Northern Minnesota – Lake Vermillion.  They told me that it was missing in a swimming area and that it came off while playing with some kids in the water.  I said, I would be happy to go up and search for the ring.  We were unable to make schedules work for a couple of weeks. It was 200 miles North from where I was at – to the boat launch.  Then a 10-minute ride by boat out to an island where the cabin was.

The weather was brisk, with overcast sky’s and pretty good chop on the water. A light rain on and off.   Once in the water it though it was warmer than out on the dock. I had brought a load of gear with to cover many obstacles I could face. The cabin owner told me that with poor weather most people fishing fish out in front of their place because the island protects them from the wind.  But on this particular day was not like the normal bad weather days – in the weather was coming out of the south and the normally calm waters were anything but calm.

I concentrated towards the end of the dock in the search. From the information I had received the probability was highest out there.  The water depth at the end of the dock was about 5 ½ feet. I had a snorkel and goggles and would dive down searching.  I was getting a couple of good sounding targets, but the depth kept me from locating and digging them. Also, the waves on the water was not only on the surface it was under water as well and causing all kinds of issue as well.  I did not have enough weights to safely hold me down under water while also allowing me the ability to come up for air regularly which didn’t help matters any.  The homeowner thought about it and brought me out an 8 lb maul, and 4 large horseshoes. That was working, but the combination of waves, currents, lack of air really was more than what I was prepared for. So eventually I gave up out in the deep water and did a primary search of the rest of the beach.  After about 2 – 3 hours of searching we gave up.  I told them I would come back another time.  Northern Minnesota’s weather gets cooler sooner than the lower 2/3 of the state where I come from. I was just not able to get back up again during the 2021 season.

In the spring of 2022, we made arrangements to meet again. This time the weather was more favorable, and the lake was calmer. The difference was the lake was about 1-foot higher waterline then the previous year. Meaning the water at the end of the dock was not over my head.  I brought a battery-operated air compressor with 50’ of hose and a dive regulator that allowed me to go under and search the targets that I had located the previous year. I was finding many different items nails, washers, but no ring.  After about 2 hours of searching the end of the dock, I decided to search the rest of the swimming area.  I spent another hour and a half and now was really beginning to question if I was going to locate the ring.

I know how much rings mean to people, and I always want to give it 110%.  So, making a more methodical search I got a hit on a tone that was in the range that I was looking for, and shallow.  I had to go grab my mask and snorkel off the end of the dock and when I got back and went under – there it was a bright ring laying between two rocks in about 3 – 4 feet of water and about 30’ from shore.  I was getting within 15 -20 minutes of calling the entire area searched when I ran across it. What a feeling.  The cabin owner had stopped out and we had talked 10 minutes earlier and you could kind of tell that he was thinking it was lost. So after finding it, I brought it up to the cabin. When I met him at the back door, I’m sure he was thinking that well we gave it a good try, then I showed him the ring on my little finger. He was elated, “You Found it” The surprise on his face was priceless and he was not the owner of the ring. I let him pass on the news to his daughter and her husband.  They were also so happy.  It was their 10th  anniversary within 2 weeks, and they would be getting the ring back just in time.  While I was not able to see them get the ring, I received the following pictures.

Happy Couple

Happy to have ring back


Ring back intime for anniversary

Ring placed back where it belongs

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