Lady’s Family Heirloom Platinum Wedding Band Lost in the Ocean on Oak Island, NC. – Found and Returned
I received a call at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Father’s Day, from Julie saying she had lost her platinum wedding band in the ocean sometime between 1 – 4 pm. She also said that during that time she had ridden a boogie board, and played some football. I asked how deep she thought she was and she stated from ankle to about 4 ½ feet. A quick check of the tide tables and it didn’t look good. Low tide was right around 2 p.m. and the hour drive would get me there almost at high tide, I didn’t have a chance. I told Julie I’d be there the next afternoon before low tide at 2:55 p.m.
I had a lost ring search in a back yard set for the next morning, but was able to reschedule. I texted Julie and told her I’d be there close to noon. I figured I could start at the high tide line and work my way out to the low tide line and beyond. When I arrived the next day, Julie met me in the driveway of their rental and led me around to the beach access and out to meet her husband, Lonny. This is about when Julie shared that the center stone in the ring belonged to Lonny’s grandmother, and that they were here on vacation to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. I felt the pressure!! Standing on the beach, I asked Julie to tell me how she lost the ring again, what she was doing and where she was at. She showed me the area of a sand bar that she had been boogie boarding around and thought that it may have been where she lost it. I then asked Lonny what he remembered. He thought she probably lost it in the area where they were playing football, because that’s where they had been rough housing, too. I found it helps when I get everybody’s story and piece it together, what one forgets the other remembers – sometimes!
I had brought a couple of detectors, and PVC pipes to mark the areas. The pipe was to help me keep a better grid line. I had Julie and Lonny show me where they thought were the outside bounders for the area. I started at the high tide line and worked my way out pass the low tide line, grid searching both parallel and perpendicular to the shoreline. I made it out to the sand bar and did a good grid with nothing. I knew if the ring was lost on the ocean side of the sand bar, I had little chance of finding it in the washing machine action it’d go through. After what I felt was a very thorough search with no luck, I took a short break and came up with plan B. I asked Julie when she noticed that she didn’t have the ring on and she said it was after getting cleaned up and in the house. So now I’m thinking the soft sand may have to be searched just to rule it out. I asked Julie and Lonny if they wanted to help search, which they agreed to, and showed them how to use my White’s PI. Shortly after, I saw Julie pass the detector off to Lonny, it’s a pretty heavy machine, and he made his way back out towards the sand bar. He was struggling, and without a scoop, if he did get a target he had nothing to dig it with. At some point I decided I’d expand the search area, both on the east and west sides. I knew the platinum ring would show a VDI on the equinox 800 somewhere between 6 and 9, depending on the weight. Lonny’s thinner platinum wedding band rang up as a 3. After about a 3 hour search, and running out of real estate. Just outside the original search area, I got a solid target showing a 9 on the VDI. Bingo!!! Two scoops and I had the target out of the hole. I gently washed the sand out in the surf and heard the special “twang” you get when there’s metal in the scoop. I looked in the scoop and there it was. Lonny was close, so I called him over. I told him don’t get excited but is this Julie’s ring. He wasn’t positive, because he’d never seen it off her finger, but thought so. I told Lonny, let’s surprise Julie, but I had to get my camera. When we got back up to where I had my gear, I made it sound like I was getting a drink. Lonny put on a great performance telling Julie I had another question. The video tells it all!!! Her response is why I love being a Ring Finder.
Julie and Lonny – thank you so much for trusting me to find your lost treasure. It was great to meet you both.