Lost Class Ring Recovered From Farm Pond

from Fairfax (Virginia, United States)
Contact: 1-703-598-1435

November 19th, 2019
John, who recently returned from an overseas deployment, had lost a lot of weight. He was fishing on his farm pond with a young friend. While helping his friend remove a fish from his line, John’s Virginia Tech ring slipped off. As you can see from the photo, this is a treasured reminder of his beloved alma mater and he rarely took it off his finger. John had the foresight to immediately take note of where he was when the ring fell off.
Due to other obligations, it took a several weeks before Mrs. E and I could make the trip to Tappahannock. After a two hour drive we met John and his friend Billy. We immediately bonded with these awesome patriotic Virginians.
John decided to drain half the water out of the pond. He and his friends developed an ingenious method and spent many hours nursing the home-made pump. The depth was about 15 feet lower when we arrived. John and Billy placed a ladder so I could get safely get in and out of the water. John also launched his boat to give me a platform from which to work. I’m so grateful for his ingenuity and thoughtfulness.

 

Setting up in the woods

 

Half Drained & Boat

The pond had steep sides, zero visibility, and is over 25 feet deep. John and Billy helped me get my SCUBA gear into the boat and I snorkeled over to the opposite bank. As you can see from the photos, there were tangled branches interfering with the potential search site. I explored the area around, under, and through the tangle as best I could using my Excalibur detector.

To search in the water under the tangle I realized we would have to remove the branches. I decided to search the bank before undertaking the difficult task of removing the branches. It was a slippery, but there was little trash and the search went quickly. It felt wonderful to hear that beautiful tone when I located the ring and dug it up from the mud.

John’s help in draining the pond and putting me so close to the drop was extremely helpful. His generous reward was much appreciated and I donated a portion to Fisher House.

For help to recover your item, please text or call 703-598-1435

8 Replies to “Lost Class Ring Recovered From Farm Pond”

  1. John Lewis says:

    I am an Army Reservist and was deployed to Afghanistan the summer of 2019. While gone, I dropped about 30 pounds and returned home a lean/mean machine. While unwinding on my farm in Essex County, Virginia, fishing post deployment, I caught a bass which prompted me to bend over to the edge of my floating pier to get the fish and BLOOP! My huge 42-penny college ring from VA TECH that I have worn every day for 25 years falls into the water. I was devastated and immediately mentally marked the location by triangulating my approximate location on the pond.
    I never lose or give up, so I decided I was going to drain the pond using gravity feed PVC pipes and find a diver; the planning immediately commenced. A Google search led me to Rob Ellis “Ring Finder” and then our journey began. I drained about 3 million gallons from the pond over 3 weeks (only about half the volume) and coordinated a date/time with Rob.

    Rob is the epitome of professionalism and caring in such situations of losing things that are very close to your heart. He and his wife showed up on a cold and windy Nov day with smiles, compassion and some of the most state-of-the-art equipment one could imagine. My pond is a farm pond that is 25 feet deep (about 12 feet deep now after draining some) and riddled with debris/structure and logs at the bottom. Diving in such an environment even seemed a bit dangerous to me, but not to Rob. He kits up and BAM he is in the water maneuvering through mud and under/over logs and debris like an otter. The tenacity he showed in the water was nothing short of amazing. He exuded the confidence that he WOULD find the ring or break himself trying. In 24 minutes, BAM he finds the ring! I was floored, amazed, astounded and happy to the point of almost crying all at the same time. I swear I could feel that Rob and his wife wanted to find the ring as much as I did, and that gave me hope and confidence. Their service, attitude and professionalism cannot be matched, and I thank them both from the bottom of my heart to be wearing my large 42 penny head-knocker again. These two are the REAL DEAL…you lose and…they WILL find. Thank you both again for the wonderful journey and beautiful ending.

    John Lewis
    Essex County, Virginia

    1. Billy Healy says:

      Amazing husband and wife team. Crazy how fast he was able to locate the ring. Good thing I didn’t bet against him. John pretty much says it all above. Hard to top that. I can tell you that months later on January 19th,2020. John and I are walking around the state capital and who did we ran into but Rob and his wife. Small world. Be sure to use him and his wife for your ringfinder needs

      1. Rob Ellis says:

        Billy!! Thank you for your reply/recommendation. I forgot about the “bet” LOL!
        It was so cool running into you and John in Richmond. I have a feeling we will be seeing each other again in the future.
        Rob

  2. gregg edward LARABEL says:

    great recovery.

  3. Curtis Cox says:

    Great story Rob. I especially liked the beaver damn John built..You can clearly see the scar line from the old water level.👍

  4. Jeff Morgan says:

    Nice SCUBA recovery Rob! Sounds like you guys planed your work and worked your plan resulting a successfully recovery in harsh conditions!
    Cheers, #SeattleRingHunter

    1. Rob Ellis says:

      Thanks Jeff. Your website and videos are incredible!

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