metal detector bay of islands Tag | The Ring Finders

Gold Ring Lost in Sea at Russell, Bay of Islands – Found!

from Paihia (New Zealand)
Contact: 021 401 626

John was out swimming off Long Beach at Russell in the Bay of Islands, and realising he’d forgotten to leave his gold wedding band behind took it off and dropped it inside his wetsuit for security.  All went to plan, until, at the end of his swim and while wading ashore he unzipped the wetsuit and folded it down.  The inevitable happened, however it wasn’t until he was back at the car and out of the wetsuit he remembered the now absent ring.

He spent some time looking for his treasured gold ring in the grass in the carpark and retraced his steps up and down the beach without luck.

I came into the story three days later and made the journey over to hopefully reunite John with his lost ring.

John was up to getting wet again, so I asked him to take one of my marker floats out and drop it at his best guess for the start point.

Starting initially with a spiral search pattern in the immediate area out to 5m, I then ran parallel sweeps back into the beach in the direction of his travel back to the car – pausing to brace into the occasional larger breaking waves.

Once in the shallows, I took a short break to remove the wetsuit and switch to dry gear for the remainder of the beach, continuing the overlapping parallel sweeps back to the car – With no luck.

I always aim to run at 90-95% probability of detection, and the fact I hadn’t found it irritated me. I explained to John that the chances of missing it were slim, so there was a possibility it had fallen out on the hard sand or grass and been picked up. The search corridor marked out allowed for plenty of space either side of his track, so I was confident it wasn’t there.

John accepted the loss, we shook hands and he headed on his way home.

After packing the gear away, I grabbed a coffee from the nearby vendor and sat in the car looking at the beach with the search grid in the sand… I wasn’t happy about something, but couldn’t pin it down.  I needed to have another go on the “Assume Nothing, Believe No-One and Confirm Everything” principle.

What if John hadn’t come in on the direct line he thought he had?  Watching the swimmers and kids splashing around for a few minutes, I saw there was a subtle longshore drift dragging them along the beach. I decided to go back in and extend the search corridor.

Didn’t bother with the wetsuit this time, just grabbed the scoop and detector and headed back to the edge of the previous search area and started adding another 10m to it in the direction of the current.

After maybe 15 minutes, I got that solid gold ‘thud’ in the phones, and the scoop picked it up first time.

I headed back to the car and not having Johns number, phoned his wife to give the good news and ask her to get John to turn around and come back.  He was a very happy chap when I dropped the ring in his hand.

 

 

 

Metal Detector Finds Lost Wedding Ring in Sea at Paihia

from Paihia (New Zealand)
Contact: 021 401 626

John had lost his white gold wedding ring in the sea a few days before I heard of it.
At this time of year, the popular tourist beach concerned is heavily patrolled by holiday detectorists, so time was of the essence – more so as the detailed location had unfortunately been posted on Facebook.
Even though I was in the throes of a major lung infection (Thanks very much, Santa!) I had to try and recover this one as soon as possible.

I met John on the beach in the evening, he indicated the highest probability area before settling down on the sand to watch, and I set to work.

First priority was to clear the heavily trafficked area in the shallows and on the beach – these areas would almost certainly see a detector overnight.
Digging an ancient corroded iPhone suggested that no-one had searched here recently, so there was a high chance of recovery, however the beach was gaining sand with each tide and I suspected I’d need to return at the next days dawn low with the 15″ coil.

I discussed this with John, and now the tide had receded somewhat, had another go at establishing where he was in relation to the low/high water marks and thus the theoretical position he was in before I decided to go another 30 minutes through to dead low before calling it a night.
Changing the sweep pattern to perpendicular to the beach, I headed out far enough to ensure I was well overshooting the likely area in order to eliminate any ‘memory drift’ as to what depth he was in, before sweeping back into the beach.
It was on the third pass that I heard that solid, repeatable gold tone and caught the ring in the scoop on the second dig, lying on the eroding edge of an offshore sandbar – I suspect he had been standing on this sand bar, hence the perception he had been in shallow water.
Holding the ring in the classic victors thumb/forefinger pose, I turned to show John it was a happy ending, only to see the rest of the family had arrived – Perfect timing.

Happy faces all round, and a pose for the cameras before I headed home to crawl back into bed…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metal Detector Finds Lost Gold Coin Cache

from Paihia (New Zealand)
Contact: 021 401 626

Was asked to locate a couples’ buried investment recently, due to the delicate nature of the job I have to keep most of it in confidence – I have however been given permission to publish the following though. A tale of a modern pot of gold…

Let’s call him “Bob”.
Bob contacted me asking for help locating a cache of 1oz gold coins he’d buried many years ago…and now was unable to remember exactly where!

Oh dear.

After some background checks to ensure it was all legitimate, I met up with Bob and his wife and they showed me a patch of pasture with several excavations. Looking at the scene, I could almost sense the growing panic with the turfs transitioning from neat squares to less organized lumps and becoming more scattered around the holes…

I switched on the detector, tuned it up, and started to work the pre-dug holes to ensure it wasn’t just a case of not going deep enough. As each was cleared I moved further along the line, eliminating a few false hits which turned out to be flakes of scrap. I reached the end of the last excavation and just past the far edge, got that “Dig Me!” solid tone.

Bob went in with the spade and quickly exposed a flash of red plastic – just under the grass! I’m sure everybodies voices went up a notch as it was progressively unearthed.

Now, the fundamental rule of detecting is to always check the hole, and to ensure no coins had been lost from the now damaged jar I stuck the pinpointer into the hole. It twittered away excitedly, so I scraped the soil with the pointer and exposed more plastic!

Turns out there were two containers, not just one as first thought.

Lost Ring Found on Whangarei Beach

from Paihia (New Zealand)
Contact: 021 401 626

Jan 14th, 2018
I came across a plea on social media about a gold ring lost in the surf at Ruakaka. The beach is open to the ocean, has a reasonable longshore current and while conditions had been calm, sand is always moving… and rings are always sinking.
While it was outside my normal maximum travel range, the backstory to the ring put a successful recovery and return at the top of my priorities. Even if I took a financial loss, I was going to do my utmost to find and return this ring!
The ring had been lost for just over two days by the time I got there. Family efforts with a borrowed metal detector the previous day had drawn a blank.

The gentleman concerned turned up, and after a brief discussion, he duly marked out the boundaries in the sand, I waded in and got to work. It was hard graft with a big coil, although after digging a fishing weight from over a foot down, I knew if the ring could be found, it would be found.
Two hours later, I got a nice solid tone. It was so beautifully clear and smooth, it could only be gold. I listened to it again and again, knowing what it was. I had to pause as a largish wave passed, then went after it.

In the scoop was a whole heap of smiles 🙂

Some rings are worth far, far more than their weight in gold.

 

Northland Ring Lost, Found and Returned after Five Years in the Sand!

from Paihia (New Zealand)
Contact: 021 401 626

Jan 2nd, 2018

Hot on the heels of my first ring recovery for this summer, I finally managed to track down the owner of a ring I found mid-2017.

It had been returned from Police Found Property, although the fact it had an unusual name engraved inside made me want to try and find the owner myself.

Seven months of lurking around the internet and multiple dead ends later (including one opportunist who had a good go at claiming it!) I finally found them.

They live in Chile and lost it while on holiday, so not surprising the New Zealand Police had no luck.

No photo, but I’ll let the Facebook dialog tell the rest.

This reunion made me realise how many tourists leave their rings behind in NZ, purely because they don’t know who to ask for help.

 

And so I joined The RingFinders.

 

Lost Ring at Russell Beach Found for Christmas

from Paihia (New Zealand)
Contact: 021 401 626

Dec 21st, 2017

I received a call while at work from a very upset lady, the usual story of a slightly-too-large ring and the sea.

The previous day she had gone for a morning swim, and returned to discover she and her ring had parted company.

I knew the beach in question is a very mobile shingle and notorious for ‘swallowing’ rings so time was of the essence. It already had a two-tide head start…

Next low was in two hours, so I cashed in some of my leave and headed away in order to catch it.
An hour and a half and a car ferry later, I arrived on site. Looking at the steep beach angle, coupled with recent wind and wave conditions I could only realistically give her a 50:50 chance of finding it.

After a quick walk through of the timeline and reenacting the whats and wheres leading up to the loss, I marked out the area of highest probability and started searching between the tideline and the waist-deep point where it dropped away to deep water. Figured I’d do the hotspot first before getting the wetsuit on!

A lot of litter signals from can tabs and so forth caused several stops to listen carefully and determine if it was the ring… all were discounted for one reason or another.

Then, on the third line a strong clear tone and the scoop went in for a big bite out of the gravel. I checked the hole to make sure I had the target, dropped my marker float and waded ashore to empty the scoop.

Dumping the gravel onto the beach, sitting quite brazenly on top of the pile of stones was the ring, and in only 12 minutes from switching the machine on (Largely thanks to an extremely accurate start point).

Handed her the lost ring with a smile and a “Happy Christmas!” accompanied by a small round of applause from onlookers.

One extremely grateful, and very relieved couple.

Early Christmas Present

In the space of 30 or so hours, it had already sunk 6-8 inches. I was quietly pleased to have snatched this one back from the beach!