This lost ring story started about 3 p.m. when Patrick, who was on vacation from Raleigh, NC with his family, was in the surf throwing one of those balls that skip across the water. Just after 6 p.m. he called me asking if I could help find his wedding ring. He said he had googled lost ring in the ocean and my blogs popped up. I asked him a couple of questions, what time he lost it, and how deep he was when it happened. He told me he lost it about 3 and he was about hip deep. Knowing what the tides were for the day, 3 p.m. was right at mid-tide and hip deep meant he was probably out a little further than the low tide line. Time was of the essence because by the time I’d get there, the tide will have turned around and was now coming back in. I got a few more details, including the address, and told him I’d be there in 30-45 minutes. At the time, my wife and I were leaving our neighborhood on our way over to see our granddaughters. My wife has heard these type of conversations before and instantly knew what was going on, she made a U-turn to get me back home. I grabbed my gear and headed to Sunset Beach.
When I got to the rental house, I met Patrick and his wife Colleen, their son, and other family members. On the way out to the beach, I asked Patrick if he was throwing the ball when it came off, and thank goodness, he said the ball hit his finger when it came off. He and his brother-in-law gave me a general location and I started an east/west (sand to ocean) grid line. I think I was on my ninth line, and maybe ankle deep in the surf, when I got a strong hit. I dug a scoop of wet compounded sand, checked the hole, and was pretty positive I had Patrick’s Platinum Wedding Band in my scoop. I shook the scoop out in the surf and heard the loud clanging of the ring. I walked back up to where Patrick was standing, shaking the scoop as I walked so he could hear the clanging. I don’t think he was believing what he was hearing until I held the scoop out for him to retrieve his ring. He was beyond excited and I got some great bear hugs. On our way back up to the house, I asked him if he thought his ring was gone for good. His response was something like, “I didn’t think I’d ever get it back.” We also worked out a plan to surprise Colleen by saying the surf was getting to rough and that Patrick really appreciated me coming out and trying. Colleen was on the back deck as we walked up the steps. We played the surprise though and as I’m telling her that I tried, but the surf was getting big, I kept glancing at Patrick’s finger trying to get her to look. At one point she looked behind her to see what I was looking at, then BAM!!, she saw the ring on his finger and her eyes started watering up, which made mine water up. I got a big hug from her and she was so excited. Great ending to an otherwise trying time.
Patrick and Colleen, thank you so much for calling me and I’m so happy we were able to get Patrick’s ring back on his finger where it belongs! Have a great rest of your vacation and a safe return home.