Diving Salvage Tag | The Ring Finders

Lost Dock Equipment – Mitchell’s Marina / SML Boat Rentals Smith Mountain Lake Virginia…..Found

  • from Lexington (Virginia, United States)

9/2/2019  This adventure starts from the where the last post left off with the “unique” wedding ring recovery for Tom & Kitty Sparhawk.  After finding their lost ring, and their dropping me back off at Mitchell’s Marina at Smith Mountain Lake I wanted to drop off my business cards and see if the Marina would allow it.  What better way to ask then to have satisfied clients with their ring found right there to verify who I was and the service I could provide.  I remembered seeing a “Retired Marine” sticker on a truck when I first pulled in, and inquired who that was.  It happened to be the owner who was a Retired Marine Lt.Col (Jeff) and former CH-46 Helicopter Pilot.  After meeting him, introducing myself also as a retired Marine with my former background, and introducing him to Tom & Kitty and seeing their ring, he immediately said, “I have a job for you!” and proceeded to take me back out onto his docks and explaining the job he said, “No one has ever been able to accomplish”.  Jeff explained he had owned the Marina since 2009 when he retired out of the Marines, and in the time and before with the previous owner, many expensive galvanized dock parts had come up missing or could not be retrieved, due to people coming in a little too hot and damaging the dock and breaking off the equipment with their boats, or making it loose, where it fell to the bottom while still being attached around the mooring poles. Needless to say, this was a search and recovery / salvage mission.  I spent roughly 11 hours underwater, but recovered all parts and some older galvanized chain mooring that the previous owner had used, as well as hand tools, and some boat parts. Some of the parts weighed as much as 75 lbs each, and as stated earlier, had to have some serious underwater wrenching take place, as well as digging to free them from their underwater bonds.

After completing this mission, I was allowed to dive and look for gas caps to boats, cellphones, and even found one ring where they refuel the boats.  I was told I could come back anytime I wanted to look for anything I could find to help people who lost things as well as make some money on the side if I could.  I made good reward money for this dive, got offered acreage to hunt on, to bring my families down for their celebrations, and of course, got to put my business cards in the Marina 🙂

This looks to be an annual event at the least, and I am glad to have met Jeff, become friends, and become the Marina’s goto Diver.  It was truly a great thing to happen in my life that I never saw coming.