Lost ring Tutukaka Tag | The Ring Finders

Gold Ring Lost at Whangaumu Bay, Tutukaka – Found.

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

During a recent lost ring recovery in the Tutukaka and Ngunguru area, I was made aware of a historical ring loss at Whangaumu Bay a week previously.
I contacted Kiri to see if I could assist in returning her husbands ring, lost on the beach…somewhere.

I was down in Whangarei a couple of days later, so made the detour and headed out to meet Reghan, Kiris husband, at Whangaumu – Just over a week had passed since loss on this very mobile beach. The sand is very light and moves readily with any swells.

Having the ring owner on site to answer questions about the loss always hugely increases the odds of being able to hand your lost ring back to you. Some of the questions I ask may seem strange, they all add pieces to the puzzle and slowly builds up a ‘hotspot’ of where the ring likely lays…and where it probably isn’t.
Very often the ring is not where the person thought it should be.

I started the initial search where they had been sitting on the beach, Reghan mentioned he had launched a kayak to go out fishing – the tides were wrong for a water search at this stage, so I focused on clearing the beach.

The initial high probability area drew a blank, so I started to extend the search – further and further.
Then I dug a fishing jig head. Not a common design and from the condition it was a recent loss. I asked Reghan if it was a style he used? “Yes, that’s one of mine”.

I now had a definite reference point. Reghan had walked past this spot! I could now use my Search & Rescue experience to reassign probabilities to different areas around me, and work out his route. His tracks were long since erased by weather and waves, but human behaviour is almost universal.

I changed the search pattern based on his likely path. Retracing his footsteps from eight days ago…

Just two search lines later, a heavy gold ring came to the surface. I was confused as to whether it was Reghans ring as there were no assay stamps. I then found out their matching rings had been handmade by an artist friend of theirs.  You could never replace that.

37 years experience in recovering lost rings and precious items gives me an exceptional recovery rate, and I just love handing back treasured things that have been dismissed as “Gone Forever”.


Tungsten Ring Lost in Sea at Tutukaka – Found!

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Bryans partner contacted me asking if I was able to assist with recovering his ring, lost while playing in the shallows at Kowharewa Bay near Tutukaka.
He had been larking around, and had thrown a clump of seaweed…and his tungsten ring.
Their efforts to find it visually were unsuccessful, and even as his partner messaged me, Bryan was out looking for it on the the low tide.
I arrived a while before they did the next day, and started the search in front of the popular swimming area, albeit on entirely the wrong section of beach – which is precisely why I always ask that someone always meets me on site.
Bryan duly arrived and indicated where he had been, and in which direction he had thrown the seaweed – This shifted the search area, and increased the odds of a successful recovery signficantly.
I did a cursory search of the beach above the waterline, before returning to the car and rekitting for a water search.
After returning to the search area, I was in around waist deep water and before long got that lovely ‘double hit’ return in the headphones.
The scoop came up with shell, gravels and sand which, when flushed, left a few shells and … Bryans tungsten ring.

I held it up to Bryan who was in the water a few metres away, which generated smiles all round.

Bryan wasn’t keen on a photo, so you’ll have to make do with me, sorry.

Silver Wedding Ring Lost in Sea at Tutukaka – Found

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

On Boxing day, Tahiroa was enjoying a summer swim at Whangaumu Bay, near Whangarei when he lost his silver wedding band.
He messaged me to see if I would be able to help, “I’m getting some strife…”

Unable to meet me on site, he sent a Google Maps pinned location. Not ideal as it is always preferable to have the person there to give a start point but you have to take what you can get.
When you’re chasing an item that’s only 3/4 inch in diameter, the search area can get very large, very quickly.

On arriving for the initial search, I slalomed down the beach past the holidaymakers to the waters edge – Where there was the distinctly fresh scoop mark of a metal detectorist.
Just one scoop, and the location matched Tahiroas description of beach location
Had someone seen the commotion as Tahiroa tried to find his ring, or had he put it on social media and a less altruistic sort had ‘sniped’ it?

You always have to assume the ring is still there though – until a comprehensive and methodical search has been completed.
I headed out into the water…

Unable to carry out regular gridding patterns due to more people being in the water than on the beach, I relied on the GPS to keep track of coverage.
I would clear one area, then as a spot opened up in the water, I would relocate and work that, and so on.
The GPS track was messy, with multiple dense ‘blobs’ of scribble connected by zig-zag lines as I moved from spot to spot.
Snorkelling children were becoming a nuisance. Every time the scoop went in they would dive down to try and grab whatever was coming out !
The repeated requests to keep clear had no effect, then I hit on the concept of camoflage.
I would dig a ‘dummy’ scoop next to the target, but rather than clear the scoop near the bottom – I lifted it right up to the surface for a good shaking…
The cloud of sand and silt spread all around me, reducing visibility to nil. As I operate on sound, I could safely retrieve the targets while the opposition were temporarily blinded..
The snorkelling terrors quickly lost interest and drifted away.
After four hours, and a no-show, I messaged Tahiroa the news and suggested that it might have already been found.

The next day, I made the two-hour drive again – I hate walking away from a no-find and I always need to prove to myself that it’s not there.
The approximated Google Maps pin meant I had to extend out along the beach, beyond the indicated area already searched.

At 6am, other than a few dog walkers, the beach was deserted and I could run my search lines without interruption.

Picking up from where I left off, I cleared a few ‘weak spots’ in the GPS track and then started nice long, straight lines.

I gradually extended the search area out…and the beach started to fill with people.
After a an hour or so I got a bright tone at the edge of the drop off.
As I lifted the scoop I heard the jangle of a ring – Gottit!

Back at the car, I could relax, and messaged Tahiroa the good news that his ring was now safe and secure.

It was about four weeks before we could both be in the same place at the same time, and yesterday I was pleased to finally be able to hand Tahiroas ring back to him.