I knew it was only a matter of time before I got a call to locate something lost in the snow. That call came on Super Bowl Sunday. April T called and said she had brushed snow off her car with her arm and as she shook the snow off her wedding ring went flying. Her husband, Jacob, said he had moved the car and borrowed a metal detector to try and find it himself with no luck. He even shoveled some of the snow from around the car and let it melt in the bathtub in an attempt to locate the ring. I wasn’t able to make the one hour drive north to Shelby until almost 4:30 that afternoon, leaving only about a half hour of sunlight when I got there to detect for her ring. The roads were really bad as 6-8″ of snow had fallen in the previous 24 hours. I knew if I didn’t get up there that day I wouldn’t be able to until the following weekend or hand off the task to my fellow Ring Finder, Gregg.
Their home was almost a mile down an unplowed dirt road that was almost impassable. My car has AWD but I was REALLY nervous I was gonna get stuck and need to be towed out. I had driven too far at that point to turn around so I plowed through to their home. I did get stuck at the end of their driveway as Jacob was afraid to plow it for fear of losing the ring forever. I waisted no time (or sunlight) getting to work looking for April’s ring. With Jacob’s help, it took about 30 minutes, but we finally found it about 12′ from where they thought she lost it. The smiles on their faces were well worth the trip.
Thursday afternoon I received an email from Ana in St. Joseph. On the 4th of July, Ana was playing in the water at Silver Beach and noticed her engagement ring was gone. She and her fiance’ were about to insure the ring but lost it before they had the chance. After contacting me and Fred Johnson, the Ring Finder for the Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Hastings areas, we agreed to meet her near the beach that evening. There was severe weather forecast for that evening and we were hoping to find it before the weather turned on us. I met Fred and Ana near the beach but we were unable to find a place to park anywhere near Silver Beach. Fred and I had to park a 1/2 mile from the beach and then walk an additional 1/2 mile south to the spot where Ana had lost the ring. Ana had also borrowed a Garrett AT Pro metal detector to help with the search. After a quick tutorial on how to operate the AT Pro, Ana started detecting near the shoreline while Fred and I started a grid search, Fred working to the south while I worked a grid to the north. After 15 or 20 minutes, in waist deep water, I saw gold and diamonds in my scoop! Ana was so surprised and happy she started to cry. Even the the onlookers on shore cheered. What a beautiful ring and a very happy bride-to-be.
Grand Haven puts on one of the best fireworks displays on the 4th of July anywhere in West Michigan. Thousands of people flock to Grand Haven and the Grand Haven State Park that day. By 11:00 a.m. the Sate Park was full and I was turned away and unable to spend the day detecting at my favorite beach. At 7:00 p.m. Devin, from Detroit, called me from Grand Haven State Park and said he lost the gold charm from his necklace on the volleyball court and asked me to please come find it. I’m thinking there’s no way I’m getting near the State Park this late in the day; the police would already be setting up road blocks and barricades to direct traffic in and out of the waterfront area; but I’m willing to give it a try. After several detours and roadblocks, I was able to get into the State Park about 2 hours before sunset as people left the park and head to the other side of downtown for the fireworks show. After meeting up with Devin at the volleyball courts I see they have a 6′ circle marked out in the sand at one corner of the court where he says he lost the charm. With the very first sweep of my coil I was able to find the charm! Everyone on the court broke out in cheers! Without doubt this was the quickest recovery I’ve ever made 🙂
I received a call from Marv M. on Wednesday, Dec. 16th, as I headed into church. He had lost his wedding ring 2 months prior while working in his attic. As he brushed his hands together to remove the insulation dust, his ring slipped off, hit the roof and fell into the insulation. He had a good idea where it had fallen so he borrowed a neighbor’s old metal detector and attempted to locate it himself. The problem was, it had fallen into an area where there were a lot of TV cables and electrical lines. The metal detector was an older model with limited discrimination and sensitivity adjustments and just chattered the whole time it was turned on. I made the trip out to Muskegon Friday afternoon after stopping at Menards for a painter’s coverall and dust mask (not knowing if it was fiberglass insulation I’d be hunting in). I was able to discriminate out the nails, electrical handy boxes and truss plates but the electrical lines cause chatter that’s impossible to eliminate short of shutting off power to the whole house (anyone who’s detected under overhead power lines knows the chatter I’m referring to). I turned the sensitivity down to the point the chatter was ‘manageable’ and was determined to find a solid signal. It was only about a 6′ square section I needed to concentrate on and I was able to find the ring in about 15 minutes.
While camping with his wife and in-laws at P.J. Hoffmaster State Park on Lake Michigan, Josh B. lost his wedding ring in the surf while tossing a football about 30 yards from shore. Since I love metal detecting in the big lake, I get alerts from the local weather service when there are hazardous conditions on the lake shore and I had just received one of those alerts before Josh contacted me. There were 6-9 foot waves and dangerous rip currents for the next two days and I knew it would impossible to search before Friday morning. Josh wondered if it was even realistic to be able to find it after those conditions. I told him of a similar situation that had occurred at Grand Haven State park last year and that I was successful in locating a wedding ring after that storm. If he knew where the ring had fallen off there was a good chance I’d be able to find it. Josh took a couple hours off work Friday morning and we made the trip out to the beach getting there shortly after sun rise. Since there is no public parking in the campground, we parked about a half mile south of the campground at the public beach and made the hike north to the State Park beach. During the hike north, Josh asked what my success rate was at finding rings in Lake Michigan, I said 100% so far (I hoped it stayed that way!). The waves were still a good three feet and tossed me around a little but was I able to locate Josh’s ring in about 20 minutes.
Katelyn was to have her engagement ring and wedding band soldered together this week because she was going to be married this Friday; the only problem was she had just lost her engagement ring in Lake Michigan! Her cousin Kim called me and asked if I could come out right away, I said, “Absolutely, I’ll be there in about 40 minutes.” Katelyn’s Aunt Carol and Uncle Tom stayed with her in the water to mark the approximate location that Katelyn saw her ring fall off while I made the drive out to Holland State Park. The three of them, with Katlyn’s younger cousins, Mikayla and Sawyer, spread out to form a 20′ square area for me to do a thorough search in. At first I thought it wasn’t in the area they thought as I got no hits at all after my first pass though the area. I went back and searched again and found it right next to Mikala on the edge of the search area; I was probably standing on it when I started my search. It actually only took about 10 or 15 minutes to search the 20 sq. ft. area and find the ring. That was one very happy bride to be and another smiling face for my book of smiles.
Chase’s tungsten wedding band
Kevin’s silver wedding band
I received a call from Chase on Thursday afternoon saying he’d lost his tungsten wedding band in Lake Michigan. His friend, Kevin, had also lost his wedding band 5 minutes before not far from where Chase had lost his. I met them out at Holland State Park after work, about 2 hours before sunset, and got an idea of the general location the rings were lost. They were roughly 40 yards off shore in about 4 1/2 ‘ of water near the buoys when they lost their rings. Doing a methodical grid search, I was able to locate both rings in about 40 minutes. They were only about 10’ from each other! Two more happy faces for my Book of Smiles 🙂
I received a call from Tim on Monday evening after he had lost his platinum wedding band in Lake Michigan at Grand Haven State Park. He had been throwing a football in the water with friends, about 30 feet from shore, when he noticed his wedding ring was gone. I had given a card to the guards at the entrance to the park the day before and they referred Tim to The Ring Finders web site. After returning home to Lansing, he called and gave me a general idea of where to search. I went out to look for it on Tuesday but it was really windy and the waves were 3-6 feet. Even though the red flag was out cautioning swimmers to stay out of the water, due to heavy rip currents, there were THOUSANDS of swimmers out having fun in the big waves. Searching then was an exercise in futility and the weather for the next couple days wasn’t any better. So I called Tim back and asked him if he could meet me out at the beach on Friday morning to give me a better idea of were he was (including the adjacent Grand Haven City Beach the beach is about a half mile long). He and his wife, Molly, met me there at 9:45 and that water was COLD! Tim helped me, using the blue polypropylene shovel I use in the sand as a reference point on shore, moving it north as I worked my way north, going into and away from the shore with my detector. About an hour and 15 minutes later, I was able to locate his ring in waist deep water. They were elated to say the least. A very happy ending to my first call out.
While detecting on the beach at Grand Haven State Park, I was approached by two people who had lost rings. Joe had lost his Stainless Steel ring on the volleyball court and had about a dozen people on their hands and knees looking for it. I found it in less than a minute to great applause. About an hour later, newlyweds Byran & Rebecca R. asked if I’d help find Bryan’s white gold wedding band he’d lost while building a sand castle on the shoreline. Again, it was found in less than a minute. Glad I could help.
Bryan & Rebecca R.