Ring Lost in Pennsylvania Lake Recovered SCUBA Diving
Lost July 15th, 2019; Sara and Alberto called to ask if I could find a lost ring. Sara was swimming with her daughter in their community lake. The daughter reached for Sara and accidently pulled the ring off Sara’s finger in about 10 feet of water. As the photo shows, the ring is intertwined bands. One of the bands is covered with diamonds. Sara’s ring matches Alberto’s ring, and the set has great sentimental value for the couple. They live outside my normal area, about 5 hours away. I offered to search, telling them my fee would include reimbursement for travel and overnight accommodations.
Sara and Alberto were hesitant so we discussed researching potential local options. I also suggested they call RingFinder SCUBA divers who were closer. Following my advice, Sara and Alberto found a local diver with a metal detector from a nearby dive shop. The diver agreed to search the area, removing submerged wooden boards from the bottom. Though he used a metal detector, he was not able to find the ring.
Next, they tried a SCUBA certified RingFinder team from another state. Unfortunately, they seemed uncomfortable with the conditions, unfamiliar with normal search patterns, and were also unable to locate the ring. Sara called again asking me to take the job.
July 30th, 2019 My Divemaster (Mrs.E), and I drove up and stayed in Wilkes-Barre. The next morning I searched for two hours. I had not anticipated how cold the water in the spring fed lake would be. Just below the surface the water temperature was in the mid-50s. The bottom had a layer of fine silt which, once disturbed, quickly decreased visibility (which was poor to begin with). I found numerous small bits of aluminum cans and bits of other trash. After 30 minutes, my perception narrowed and my efficiency decreased due to the cold. I didn’t find the ring. But, now that I was familiar with the conditions I knew I could adjust for the cold and improve my search pattern. I asked Alberto if I could return and conduct another search for no fee and he said agreed.
August 12th, 2019 Mrs.E and I made the trip again. This time I used a thicker dive suit (7mil). Because the weather had turned colder and the water was colder, visibility was better and I could recover targets more effectively. One of the finds was a set of lifeguard keys used to open the gate to the lake and facility. I used a PVC grid I’d constructed but surfaced after an hour with no luck. My wife and I discussed our interpretations of the potential location of the ring, and she suggested searching closer to the dock. Within 30 minutes I heard a clear target. I gently waved my hand to move the silt and uncovered another piece of aluminum. Sitting next to it was Sara’s ring!