John had lost his white gold wedding ring in the sea a few days before I heard of it.
At this time of year, the popular tourist beach concerned is heavily patrolled by holiday detectorists, so time was of the essence – more so as the detailed location had unfortunately been posted on Facebook.
Even though I was in the throes of a major lung infection (Thanks very much, Santa!) I had to try and recover this one as soon as possible.
I met John on the beach in the evening, he indicated the highest probability area before settling down on the sand to watch and I set to work.
First priority was to clear the heavily trafficked area in the shallows and on the beach – these areas would almost certainly see a detector overnight.
Digging an ancient corroded iPhone suggested that no-one had searched here recently, so there was a high chance of recovery, however the beach was gaining sand with each tide and I suspected I’d need to return at the next days dawn low with the 15″ coil.
I discussed this with John, and now the tide had receded somewhat, had another go at establishing where he was in relation to the low/high water marks and thus the theoretical position he was in before I decided to go another 30 minutes through to dead low before calling it a night.
Changing the sweep pattern to perpendicular to the beach, I headed out far enough to ensure I was well overshooting the likely area in order to eliminate any ‘memory drift’ as to what depth he was in, before sweeping back into the beach.
It was on the third pass that I heard that solid, repeatable gold tone and caught the ring in the scoop on the second dig, lying on the eroding edge of an offshore sandbar – I suspect he had been standing on this sand bar, hence the perception he had been in shallow water.
Holding the ring in the classic victors thumb/forefinger pose, I turned to show John it was a happy ending, only to see the rest of the family had arrived – Perfect timing.
Happy faces all round, and a pose for the cameras before I headed home to crawl back into bed…