Lost Ring - Smith Mountain Lake Virginia....Found

  • from Lexington (Virginia, United States)

9/2/2019 – Got the call from Tom Sparhawk and his wife Kitty, they had lost his “unique” wedding ring in a cove in Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia in about 5-7 feet of water.  We met at Mitchell’s Marina on Smith Mountain Lake (SML Boat Rentals) where they picked me up in their boat and drove me out to the cove. While they were pretty sure they knew almost exactly where it was, even standing in the same spot they thought I was unable to find their ring in that location.  I had roughly 15-25 feet of visibility and calm waters, and heavy silt that would settle quickly, so visibility was not an issue.  They had shown me pictures through email in regards to positioning of their boat when the ring was lost swimming, but I knew the ring could not be in that location.  I asked if they had any more pictures, and THAT is where my suspicions were confirmed.  Among the many pictures they took, there was one that showed some dead trees across the cove on the shore (roughly 150 yards away) that should have been to our left about 40-50 yards, when in fact they were to our right roughly the same distance.  Now to most people, this would not have been a feature anyone would look for or notice, but this was similar to reporting I did as a Reconnaissance Marine back int he day when doing Beach Landing Site, and Scout Swimmer Surveys for incoming forces.  My confidence in finding it immediately spiked, and I told them I was going to go out in another direction after explaining to them about how the “trees are in the wrong place in relation to our location”  Literally 5 minutes later, at 7 feet, and roughly 40 yards away, success!  Not only were they very happy to have it back and gave me a healthy reward, this whole experienced turned into a dive job at the Marina they picked me up at.  The Owner who is a retired Lt.Col Marine Helicopter Pilot upon hearing of my success and finding out I was also a retired Marine immediately said without missing a beat “I have a job for you!” But that will be in the next post 😉  Thank you again for your trust Tom & Kitty.