Birthday Wish Comes True, Kind of, on Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.
Sam called me on Sunday, July 5th saying he had lost his gold wedding band in the ocean. My first questions were “what time” and “how deep?” His replies were around 4 p.m. and knee deep. Whew, these were good answers because low tide was about 2 hours before he lost it, so I felt like I had a fighting chance. We set it up that I’d meet him on Monday at 1 p.m. and I’d work the outgoing tide.
I called him as I was walking out on the beach and saw him waving. As we met and walked towards where he and his wife, Elizabeth had set up their umbrella for the day, I started asking more questions. Sam assured me that they were in the same spot they were yesterday and that he was straight out from there in knee deep water. He told me that when he lost his ring, he wanted to take one more swim before they left. He continued saying that as he was riding a wave in, another wave hit him and he felt his ring come off. I started a grid search and did 3 or 4 grid lines parallel to the beach to get a starting point. I then headed out in the rough surf in a perpendicular grid. I’m on my 6th grid line when I notice Sam out in deeper water, diving in an attempt to feel for his ring. When I got to him, I asked if he thought he was out that deep, he responded that he really thought he was. From his previous answers, my thoughts were he wasn’t, but I did a complete grid in the area to put his mind at ease. After finishing the area I continued on with my original grid search. After a few more lines, I noticed Elizabeth was standing at the water’s edge. I stopped and asked her what she remembered. She said she remembered Sam was more at an angle when she saw him frantically looking for something in the water, and she knew he had lost his ring. I knew then I needed to expand my search area to the west, just not sure how far. I knew I was in the hour and a half window before low tide, keeping in mind he was knee deep. So, I just kept plugging along and starting to second guess myself. Like, did I miss it, was I not out far enough, and all the other things that go through your mind when you’re looking for someone’s treasure. By now, I was at least 30-40 yards west of Sam’s suspected loss area. Then BAM!!!! I got the 16/17 on the Equinox 800 VDI I was looking for. One scoop and I had the target, I washed it out in the surf and there was Sam’s gold wedding ring, all by itself, sitting in the bottom of the scoop. I made it look like I was still detecting as I walked up to where they were sitting. I told them I needed a break, as I was grabbing my cell phone from my rolled up towel on the beach. I had his ring half way on my finger as I’m recording, waiting for his response. Elizabeth saw it first, but was speechless with her mouth open. It took Sam a couple of second as the video shows, and then all smiles.
Happy Birthday Sam, I’m sure it’s not the gift you wanted for your birthday, but it turned into a pretty good present!
Sam & Elizabeth – Thank you for trusting me to find your 2 year old treasure.