I received a text message from Liz about 10 am on Saturday, Sep 5th, saying, “Hi my name is Liz and I’m at OIB. My husband lost his wedding band in the surf yesterday afternoon. We have a metal detector but haven’t had any luck. Wondering if you might be able to help?” I replied asking her to call me. When she called, I asked her where he lost it. She explained that when he lost it he was about waist deep at high tide. I asked her the time and she said around 3 p.m. I looked at the tide table and saw high tide was around 6 p.m. yesterday, so if he lost it around 3 p.m. then he was about mid tide. I told her I’d be there between 11 and 11:15, which I had to adjust to 11:25 once I got my gear and hit the road. On my way, I thought that if he lost it at waist deep about mid tide, then the ring should be at the low tide line.
When I got to their house, I met Liz and a few family members. Liz walked me out to the beach and said her husband, Bobby, had told her that he was west of their house on the beach. Liz set me up behind the neighbor’s house and said Bobby was from this point – that way, as she’s pointing down the beach. “That way” was a long stretch of beach, so it was time to get started. I grabbed my PI and backed up from her starting point and started a perpendicular grid above the mid tide line seaward to about waist deep. I did that grid search from my starting point to the 4th house west. I wasn’t finding anything, and reached the point of wondering if I was in the right spot, and/or going deep enough to search. I took a quick break and reassessed my thoughts about where it should be. With the information I was given, I was positive his wedding band should be around the low tide line. Did I just miss it, swing left instead of right? I grabbed my Equinox 800 and started a cross grid search starting about shin deep at the low tide line. As I’m working up the slope of the beach I got a solid 15 on the VDI (visual display indicator). This was in the range of numbers for a man’s gold wedding band. I dug a scoop of sand, had the target, and rinsed the sand out of the scoop in the surf. When I checked the scoop, I could see Bobby’s gold wedding band peeking through the shells from the bottom of the scoop. I had definitely missed it on my first pass. Liz wasn’t out on the beach when I found it, but one of her family members called her, telling her I was done. When Liz came back on the beach, another family member was able to get a video of Liz’s response. Liz was trying so hard to hold back the tears, but she was so excited. Unfortunately, Bobby was playing golf so he wasn’t there to share the excitement, but I’m sure he was happy to get his wedding band back where it belongs.
Liz – Thank you for trusting me to help you find Bobby’s ring. Enjoy the rest of your vacation with your family and have a safe trip home.
I woke up this morning to a text message saying, “Good morning. My husband and I got married on OIB 6/11. We are vacationing in Holden beach with friends this week. Late yesterday afternoon he watched his wedding band slip off in the ocean. We had a nice guy come this morning at low tide with a metal detector, but no luck. He recommended getting in touch with you. Are you available to help find my husband’s wedding band?” I called the number attached to the text and talked with Francine. I asked the usual questions, “what time did he lose it, how deep was he, and does he have a good idea of the area.” She responded he had lost it around 6 p.m., about knee deep, and was sure of the area. I knew the tide at Holden was at 4:55 p.m. the day before, so he lost it about an hour after low tide. It’d be a challenge but not impossible. I told her I’d be up there at 4 p.m. which would give me a little under 2 hours to search before the tide changed.
When I arrived, Chuck met me in the drive way and introduced himself as the husband who lost his wedding band. He confirmed everything Francine had told me, so I told him to lead the way and we’d try our best to find it. I could tell Chuck was distraught over losing his ring, and who wouldn’t be. Chuck and Francine led me past the swimming pool, where many of the friends were hanging out. We continued across the boardwalk and out on the beach. Smartly, Chuck had lined himself up between a post and trash can on the beach when it happened. Since we weren’t on a part of the beach that had public access and a lot of trash, I decided to use my White’s PI. I started a grid search from the wet sand out into the surf, which was building and getting a few larger waves. As I finished my second grid line, I confirmed with Chuck about the post and trash can. He thought I should move over to my left and line up with an umbrella that was up on the beach. It was getting late and I figured the umbrella wouldn’t be up much longer. So, I moved over a few more feet and lined up with the corner of a beach house roof to help keep my grid lines straight. Those few extra steps made the difference. I walked back out in the surf, turned around and was making my way back to the beach for the next line. About 20 to 30 feet from the beach, I got a solid loud tone. Since it was the only signal I had gotten, I felt pretty confident it was Chuck’s ring. I dug a scoop, the target was still in the hole, two more scoops and I still didn’t have the target. Without looking, I knew Chuck and Francine were watching me with great anticipation. Took a fourth scoop and had the target. Instead of shaking the sand out in the water, I carried the scoop up to the beach and dumped it. Ran the coil over the pile, got the signal and spread the sand with my foot. I don’t know if Chuck or Francine saw the ring, but I did and reached down and picked it up. I washed the sand off it and handed it to Chuck. Francine excitedly screamed and jumped in Chuck’s arms. Within a few minutes everyone that had been sitting around the pool was now running down the beach with excitement. What a warm wonderful feeling seeing Chuck and Francine so happy and excited, this is exactly why I do this.
Chuck and Francine – Thank you so much for allowing and trusting me to help find your treasure. Sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of your vacation!!!