On Wednesday at 1:24 pm I received a text from Kimberly saying, in part “Hello are you a metal detector service? My husband’s ring just slipped off his finger in choppy ocean. Not sure if it’s even possible to find, Holden Beach.” I didn’t see the text until an hour later and responded that I was and to please call me. After a while and no response, I called her and she put her husband, Jeff on the phone. Jeff said he was in about waist deep water between 1 and 1:30 pm. Taking a quick look at the tide charts, high tide was going to be close to 3 pm and the next low tide was a little after 10 pm. I told Jeff I’d be there at 8 pm and got the address. As the afternoon progressed, I started thinking about the dropping tide, the time he lost his ring and what time sunset would be. Getting there at 8 would give me less than an hour to search before it was dark. I normally don’t have a problem searching at night, but this year there’s been terrible rip currents along the east coast. I didn’t want to become a statistic hunting at night because I couldn’t keep an eye on the ocean conditions. I also thought that since he lost his ring within 2 hours of high tide, that 4 hours after high tide the ring should be reachable. So, I text Jeff saying I’d be there by 6:45. I showed up on time and met Jeff. As we walked out on the beach is when I learned that he had been throwing a football. My first question was “are you left or right-handed?” He responded right-handed, which meant he didn’t throw the ring off. He said he actually saw the ring come off his finger and sink. He tried diving for it but to no avail. As I’m walking out to the surf I noticed the sea breeze really kicking up the waves – not good! Jeff pointed out the area and I started with a parallel grid search to the surf, and after 4 or 5 lines, I switched to a perpendicular grid search heading out in the ocean. I was having a horrible time trying to keep a straight grid line because of the waves and current. After 2 hours of searching with no luck, losing daylight, and just plain getting beat to death with the waves and current I called it a night. I knew the ring was there, but with the noise and interference I was getting in the headset from the detector, I was sure I walked right over the ring and didn’t hear a tone. I told Jeff I’d be back at 9 the next morning.
The next morning came quick, but I was ready for the task. I showed up a little early and hit the beach. This time I brought my White’s PI, a great machine but it doesn’t give any indication of depth or type target it hits, just a solid tone. So, there’s a lot more digging involved than with the Equinox 800 that I used the day before. I started a perpendicular grid search straight out from the beach as far as I could get out before hitting the last sand bar where the waves break hard. Probably about 35-40 minutes and half way through the search area, I got a solid steady tone. I was pretty sure this had to be Jeff’s ring; normally trash (bottle caps, pull tabs, and other junk) doesn’t make it out as far as I was away from the shoreline. Two scoops of sand and I had the target out of the hole and in the scoop. I shook the sand out in the water, looked in the scoop and BINGO, I had a gold ring in the scoop. I had seen a picture that Jeff’s son had posted on a FB page showing Jeff’s ring and I knew I had his ring. I packed up my stuff from the beach and headed up to their rental house to give Jeff the good news. About half way up the beach I looked up and saw Jeff walking my way, he didn’t say a word. I made the comment that it was starting to get rough, as I reached in my pocket, pulled out his ring and held it up for him to see. No doubt, he was more than excited. I handed him his ring and he turned around towards the house, held it in the air, and yelled “He found it!” His entire family had been watching me and saw when I stopped searching and started digging. Then everyone watched as I walked out of the water, picked up my stuff and started walking their way. My understanding is they thought I might have found it but no one wanted to say it. Within seconds, Kimberly came running down the beach to hug Jeff. There were a couple of tears being wiped away, but they were happy tears. I’m not sure if this was actually their 25th Anniversary vacation with family but they are celebrating 25 years of marriage in Oct.
Jeff/Kimberly – Thank you for trusting me and The Ring Finders to help find your lost treasure. An early Very Happy Anniversary to you both and now you have one more chapter to add to your ring’s story. Best wishes to you both. And Thank You for Everything!
Grandma – Thank you for all your prayers, they helped.