Wallet lost underwater in Annapolis, Maryland, found and returned!

  • from Fairfax (Virginia, United States)

Rob Ellis: Metal Detecting Expert… Call/text/email, (703)-598-1435, Rob.Ellis@TheRingFinders.com

July 7th, 2021: Recovered wallet underwater in Annapolis, Md

Here it is!

Bill’s wallet was missing. He deduced it must have slipped out of his pocket while stepping out of his boat to the dock. Though he searched in the murky water, it was too deep and muddy for him to search effectively. Since Bill kept two metal keys in his wallet, he thought it might help while searching with a metal detector. He was correct. Modern credit card chips are detectable, but they are weak targets. Without the keys, a search next to his dock would be by touch alone.

After an internet search, Bill found my information and called me to arrange a search. Upon my arrival, we walked down to the dock so I could observe the area and plan my underwater recovery. Bill had really thought through the most likely location of the wallet.  Because he didn’t see or hear it drop, I thought it was possible the wallet could be somewhere else, and a dive would unnecessary. It turned out the one place Bill didn’t look was in the family cars. I asked if I could search his vehicles, and Bill was happy to oblige. The searches turned up two very neat and clean cars, but no wallet.

I got my SCUBA gear loaded on Bill’s garden cart and we went down the large hill to the dock. I did a quick reconnaissance with snorkel gear and determined the water was about eight feet deep. Visibility was very poor and the bottom was covered by a deep layer of silt. I donned my SCUBA gear and began my search. As anyone who detects next to mature docks can verify, there are usually many metal targets. When I heard a probable hit, I used my fingers and raked through the muck. On the seventh target, I reached out and felt the shape of a wallet! I carefully closed it and placed it in my finds bag. I immediately surfaced and waved to Bill and his mother who had joined him on the dock.

I know how devastating it feels to lose a wallet. A modern man has a lot of important things he depends on in that piece of leather. I felt a great deal of joy when I handed that wallet to Bill. Afterward he looked at me and said, “Now I don’t have to go back to the Motor Vehicle Administration!”. That I could help him avoid a trip there, made me even happier!!


Bill Smile!


Rob & Bill Smiles


I am expert detectorist with the knowledge, skill, and experience to recover your lost items on land and underwater. Please text or call as soon as possible: (703)-598-1435


Note to other U/W Ring Finders:

6×8 finds bag with Velcro closure

My custom finds bag is designed by Instructor and master detectorist Ed Finck of Woodbridge SCUBA. It’s made of very durable mesh, with a brass snap clip.  I recommended it to all my underwater TheRingFinder friends. Please note I receive nothing in return for endorsing this bag. I just want to see more cool stuff for detecting!



1 Comment »

One Reply to “Wallet lost underwater in Annapolis, Maryland, found and returned!”

  1. Rob Ellis says:

    From Bill via email: “Rob is a very nice guy and I’m so thankful that he is willing to use his metal detector and diving expertise to assist people like me who have lost their valued items. In my case, my wallet popped out of my back pocket and fell into the water when I was climbing onto our boat that was up on a lift. I tried to find it by going underwater and walking on the mucky bottom in case I got lucky and stepped on the wallet – but that was a long shot and it didn’t work out. I was expecting to give up on my wallet as lost for good, when my wife suggested I look into whether a diver could find it. When I searched on “divers annapolis lost items”, Rob’s listing on Ringfinders came up. When I called him, I was surprised that he was willing to drive out from Virginia the next day for a very modest fee, and that he was willing to trust me to reward him appropriately if he found my wallet. When Rob arrived, he sounded very confident that he could find the wallet, which gave me hope. He put on his SCUBA gear, took his underwater metal detector, and swam out to the area by our boat. After several minutes of searching, he surfaced and gave a thumbs up signal. He then swam back to the dock and pulled out my lost wallet. He went to a lot of trouble to save me a lot of trouble. I’m very grateful.”

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