Coopers Beach Tag | The Ring Finders

Gold signet ring lost at Cable Bay – Found in the Sea

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)
Second recovery for the year and hot on the heels of Andys ring recovery at Tauranga Bay (which you can read below)
Shortly after Christmas, Caitie was enjoying her holiday at Cable Bay wearing a special gold signet ring gifted to her for her 21st with the family crest that dates back a few hundred years engraved into it.
Tragically, she lost the ring in the waves, and gave it up as lost.
Almost a week later, she contacted me.
She had been buying a couple of “make myself feel better” rings at a local jeweller in Mangonui, who suggested Caitie get in touch to see if I could reunite her with the treasured ring.
The beach at Cable Bay is a steep gradient ocean beach. It’s very dynamic being composed predominantly of small broken shell fragments and anything dropped has potential to sink through the layers quickly with the wave action. After a week, having Caitie be able to meet me on site would be critical to push the odds into our favour.
Unfortunately she was slightly  delayed getting to the beach, so I got started with the information I had to hand.
I cleared the area as described by Caitie, then started expanding out – focussing on the low tide mark and wash as the tide was due to turn and start coming in.
Some 20 metres further along the beach, knee deep in the water, I got a faint tone. Could be one of the thousands of flecks of aluminium foil that inhabit that beach… or a deep ring.
With ring finding, you have to confirm every single target. It’s not uncommon to finish a search for a ring in the sea with 50+ can pull tabs, bottle caps and old copper coins in the pouch. (any detected rubbish is bagged to help clean up the environment – and avoid digging it next time)
It took several scoops to catch up with the ring in the fluid sand at a depth of nearly 40cm.
I secured her wayward lost gold ring and continued hunting casually for the next few minutes while I waited for Caitie to arrive.
The reaction when you return a presumed lost for ever ring is always worth far more than the melt value to me.
There were screams, clapping hands and jumping with joy from Caitie.
Priceless.

Gold Wedding Ring Lost in Sea at Coopers Beach, Doubtless Bay – Found

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)
Four days ago, while on holiday at Coopers Beach, Mary-Ellen lost her wedding ring of 32 years while messing around in the shallows. Her friend messaged me asking if a recovery was possible… Mary-Ellen and her husband were able to meet me on site which always greatly sways the odds in favour of a recovery.
The following morning, I drove up to meet them at Coopers Beach to try and find her lost ring.
As her husband marked out the boundaries of their swimming in the wet sand, I checked the dry sand where they had been sitting. Nothing found (other than the usual can pulltabs and bottle caps). So I moved down into the area where they were swimming and started to search the marked areas…as Mary-Ellen and her husband decided they might have gone a bit further down current – and extended the search area again.
I don’t mind people changing their minds mid search as it influences where I direct my efforts to maximise the chances of a successful recovery.
Ultimately, after covering 1,300 square metres to 90+% confidence, the tide chasing me out and the sun taking its toll, I had to call it a draw. A “draw” as the beach had won this time but I was going to be back.
That afternoon I was chasing a pair of hearing aids on a shelly trash-infested beach in Kerikeri – Unfortunately after six hours they still eluded me, possibly taken by tide or located elsewhere. Can’t always win.
The following day saw me driving a three-hour round trip down to Whangarei to recover Joshs lost wedding ring at Ngunguru (His story is below).
Yesterday was a rest day!
Despite four days having passed since she lost the ring, I was back chasing Mary-Ellens lost gold and diamond wedding ring again this morning… Confident it wasn’t likely to be in the original search area I followed the falling tide down and expanded the search area outwards, both along the beach and further seaward. Assume Nothing, Trust No-One, Check Everything.
About 10m outside the original search boundary, I got a faint but positive tone in the headphones.
.
They were in the process of packing up the tent to head home when Mary-Ellen got a text
“Hope you’re still in Coopers. I have something for you…”