We took a trip to Clearwater in September, and one of the highlights was getting to take our 18-month-old son to the ocean for the first time. His experience was great, but after an hour of wading in the surf and walking up and down the beach I noticed that my wedding ring was gone. We did some halfhearted searching, but really didn’t expect much luck finding one small item in the ocean. That night we posted on Craigslist. That also seemed like a long shot, but we figured that the ring has a specific inscription, and if someone else found it and wanted to contact us Craigslist might give them a way. In the morning we had two responses — one from Stan at Ring Finders saying he’d be happy to meet us and search together, and a second from someone else saying “you should take down your ad and contact Ring Finders”.
Timing was tough for us. This was the last day of the vacation, and we had to navigate the toddler’s sleep schedule and make it to church before we left town. Still, Stan said he had a 95% success rate if we came and helped narrow the search area, and while that sounded impossibly high it gave us enough hope to give it a try. So we met Stan back at the beach, explained where we had been the day before, and let him start searching. He suggested that we stick around for an hour in case any other memories came to us, and after that he’d spend another hour before bringing others down to help search. We discussed the location a little more, and decided, based on landmarks like “this hole here, and that sign over there”, that he was in about the right spot. We were just explaining that to Stan when he said, “hold on, I’ve got something right here.” He scooped up some sand, drained it, and handed my ring back to me with a smile. We couldn’t believe it. The total search was maybe 15 minutes, which turned out to be especially important that day. We’re adopting a second child, and that same afternoon we got word that the mother had gone into labor early so we took the next flight out. Without Stan’s quick response, his availability to meet us right away, and the short search time, our window would have closed and we would have left town without ever finding the ring. He was exactly the right person at the right time. Thanks Stan!