I had orginally gotten a call on August 11th, 2016 from Jeff H. stating he had lost his wedding band in the ocean which turned out to be right at mid-tide. He went on to say he had been in and out of the ocean over the course of a few hours and wasn’t really sure when, where or how deep he was when it slipped off his finger. I was just wrapping up another ring find with Jim Brouwer and was waiting for the couple to come back to the beach to get their ring when Jeff called. Jim agreed to go ahead and head to Jeff’s resort and start looking and I followed soon after.
When I got to the resort Jim already had a grid search going from the mid tide line seaward so I started a grid search at the current tide line and worked seaward. After a few hours, the tide turned, we weren’t having any luck and it was getting dark and neither one of us had our head lamps so we called it quits. I made at least 3 maybe 4 more trips out and searched north/south and east/west grids and felt really confident that I had covered the area as well as I could.
Fast forward to Hurricane Mathew, we didn’t get the sand movement on the beach that we (the guys that metal detect) had hoped for but we did have some. There’s 3 lost rings that I had gotten calls on this summer that I haven’t found yet so I thought this would be a good opportunity to give each one another shot. Jeff’s ring was number 2 on my list so I had planned on going out this week for one last crack at it. Oddly enough, Jeff text me Saturday evening (Oct 15th) asking “did the hurricane wash up my ring?” We text back and forth and I let him know I was going to give it one more shot. Shortly after we finished I contacted my son-in-law Donnie and asked if he was available to help find this ring sometime this week. We set it up to search at low tide Monday (Oct 17th). I got there maybe 10 minutes before Donnie and was working a grid from the middle of the resort north and from the wet sand to about chest deep in the ocean. When Donnie showed up I had him start his grid from the south side of the resort and work north to the middle, this way our machines wouldn’t be interfering with each other and we could cover the area quickly before the tide turned. I was digging a target in the wet sand within 10 minutes of Donnie starting his grid search when he walked up behind me and dropped a ring on the sand at my feet. I looked at it and couldn’t believe he’d found Jeff’s ring after 2 months in the ocean. We confirmed the inscription on the inside of the ring with what Jeff had told me and BINGO, we had a match!
I took a picture of the ring and text Jeff and then called him. In his own words he was speechless. I’ll never know whether the hurricane helped move enough sand or the extra low tide helped us get out to the deeper ocean but nonetheless Jeff has his ring back where it belongs. Along with the picture he sent me of him and his wife, Michelle, he also sent me the picture with their hands together titled “back together”. There’s nothing more I can add!
Donnie, thank you for all your help and making it possible to get this ring home.
Jeff and Michelle, thank you for trusting in me to help find your treasure. Best of luck to you both!!
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I got a call from Mary D. saying that she had posted on CL about her husband Tim’s lost wedding band and had gotten an e-mail from someone referring me, that someone turned out to be my son-in-law. I explained that I was a member of The Ring Finders and an independent metal detectorist that could help find her husband’s lost ring. She said that he had lost it at approximately 1pm (roughly 2 hours before high tide) and somewhere within a 2 block area. This big of an area was going to be a tough search but I agreed to meet them on the beach in about 15 minutes.
When I arrived I met both Mary and Tim and thankfully Tim narrowed the search area down to about a 40ft width and out in the surf about 30-40 ft. I told them what I was going to do in the way of the search and told them they didn’t need to stick around and that I’d call them when I found it. I started a north/south grid search working the wet sand to make sure it wasn’t lost there. I then changed to an east/west grid running from the wet sand out to waist deep water. My sixth line, in thigh deep water, I get a great signal on my White’s PI, take a scoop of sand, shake it out and there’s the ring staring back at me. I called Mary and had her verify the inscription in the ring which was 4/16/16, the date they got married, she identified the inscription and I told her I had the ring in my hand. Ironically their wedding month and day were the same as me and my wife’s. It was also ironic that Tim’s dad and I were both in the Coast Guard together although we didn’t know each other but we had served at a couple of the same duty stations but not at the same time.
When Tim and Mary showed up to get their ring they were both shocked that it was found but extremely happy it was.
Tim and Mary, Thank you for trusting in me to find your lost treasure and best of luck to both of you in all your future endeavors.
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I got a call from Amanda J. on Thursday, August 11th asking for help in finding her husband’s gold wedding band. She went on to say they were on a little vacation from Greenville, SC and celebrating their 31st wedding anniversary. I was on my way back from out of town and told her I’d call her when I got close and we could meet on the beach.
I met up with Amanda and John to get the details on exactly what happened and learned John had been tossing a volleyball back and forth with their daughter Presley when he felt his ring come off. They showed me where they had been sitting and where John and Presley had been playing in the shallow water that was now completely under water with the incoming tide. Knowing that I was going to do some water searching and not having my water machine that was back in the shop for repairs, I contacted Jim Brouwer and asked if he had a water machine I could borrow. Once again Jim came through and gladly loaned me one of his many machines. While I had him on the phone I asked him if he wanted to tag along which he gladly accepted. While waiting for Jim I checked around where John and Amanda had been sitting and a little bit of the tide line with my AT Pro just to rule those areas out. Once Jim got there he gave me a quick lesson on his Gold quest PI and then we decided we’d come back in a few hours and work the outgoing tide.
Jim got back to the spot a few minutes before I did and had started working the water line up towards the dry sand. I tuned up my (new) machine, made a few practice runs with Jim’s (old) machine and started working from Jim’s first line seaward. Eight grid lines and 30 minutes later my new water machine gives me a banging signal, one scoop and up comes John’s Gold wedding band. I took a picture of me holding John’s ring and sent it with a text saying BINGO!!! Uh oh Amanda’s not calling me back. I gave her a few minutes and called her, when she answered I ask her if she had seen the text I sent. She checked her texts and I could hear her say “He found it!!!”. They were on their way back to their resort but made a U-turn and arrived back on the beach in about 5 minutes. I could tell by their faces that not only could that not believe the ring had been found but were trying hard to contain their emotions. I LOVE returning people’s special treasures!!!!
John and Amanda, Happy 31st Anniversary and may you celebrate many many more with the ring on John’s finger. Thank you so much for trusting in me to help find your treasure and for the very generous reward. Have a safe trip home.
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