scuba diving for lost ring Tag | The Ring Finders

Lost Ring – Smith Mountain Lake Virginia….Found

  • from Lexington (Virginia, United States)

9/2/2019 – Got the call from Tom Sparhawk and his wife Kitty, they had lost his “unique” wedding ring in a cove in Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia in about 5-7 feet of water.  We met at Mitchell’s Marina on Smith Mountain Lake (SML Boat Rentals) where they picked me up in their boat and drove me out to the cove. While they were pretty sure they knew almost exactly where it was, even standing in the same spot they thought I was unable to find their ring in that location.  I had roughly 15-25 feet of visibility and calm waters, and heavy silt that would settle quickly, so visibility was not an issue.  They had shown me pictures through email in regards to positioning of their boat when the ring was lost swimming, but I knew the ring could not be in that location.  I asked if they had any more pictures, and THAT is where my suspicions were confirmed.  Among the many pictures they took, there was one that showed some dead trees across the cove on the shore (roughly 150 yards away) that should have been to our left about 40-50 yards, when in fact they were to our right roughly the same distance.  Now to most people, this would not have been a feature anyone would look for or notice, but this was similar to reporting I did as a Reconnaissance Marine back int he day when doing Beach Landing Site, and Scout Swimmer Surveys for incoming forces.  My confidence in finding it immediately spiked, and I told them I was going to go out in another direction after explaining to them about how the “trees are in the wrong place in relation to our location”  Literally 5 minutes later, at 7 feet, and roughly 40 yards away, success!  Not only were they very happy to have it back and gave me a healthy reward, this whole experienced turned into a dive job at the Marina they picked me up at.  The Owner who is a retired Lt.Col Marine Helicopter Pilot upon hearing of my success and finding out I was also a retired Marine immediately said without missing a beat “I have a job for you!” But that will be in the next post 😉  Thank you again for your trust Tom & Kitty.


Lost Ring Lake Recovered SCUBA Diving: Mountain Top, Pennsylvania

  • from Fairfax (Virginia, United States)

Rob Ellis: Underwater Ring Recovery Specialist…Call or text 703-598-1435

Ring Lost in Pennsylvania Lake Recovered SCUBA Diving

Lost July 15th, 2019; Sara and Alberto called to ask if I could find a lost ring. Sara was swimming with her daughter in their community lake. The daughter reached for Sara and accidently pulled the ring off Sara’s finger in about 10 feet of water. As the photo shows, the ring is intertwined bands. One of the bands is covered with diamonds. Sara’s ring matches Alberto’s ring, and the set has great sentimental value for the couple. They live outside my normal area, about 5 hours away. I offered to search, telling them my fee would include reimbursement for travel and overnight accommodations.

Sara and Alberto were hesitant so we discussed researching potential local options. I also suggested they call RingFinder SCUBA divers who were closer. Following my advice, Sara and Alberto found a local diver with a metal detector from a nearby dive shop. The diver agreed to search the area, removing submerged wooden boards from the bottom. Though he used a metal detector, he was not able to find the ring.

Next, they tried a SCUBA certified RingFinder team from another state. Unfortunately, they seemed uncomfortable with the conditions, unfamiliar with normal search patterns, and were also unable to locate the ring. Sara called again asking me to take the job.

July 30th, 2019 My Divemaster (Mrs.E), and I drove up and stayed in Wilkes-Barre. The next morning I searched for two hours. I had not anticipated how cold the water in the spring fed lake would be. Just below the surface the water temperature was in the mid-50s. The bottom had a layer of fine silt which, once disturbed, quickly decreased visibility (which was poor to begin with). I found numerous small bits of aluminum cans and bits of other trash. After 30 minutes, my perception narrowed and my efficiency decreased due to the cold. I didn’t find the ring.  But, now that I was familiar with the conditions I knew I could adjust for the cold and improve my search pattern. I asked Alberto if I could return and conduct another search for no fee and he said agreed.

August 12th, 2019 Mrs.E and I made the trip again.  This time I used a thicker dive suit (7mil). Because the weather had turned colder and the water was colder, visibility was better and I could recover  targets more effectively. One of the finds was a set of lifeguard keys used to open the gate to the lake and facility. I used a PVC grid I’d constructed but surfaced after an hour with no luck. My wife and I discussed our interpretations of the potential location of the ring, and she suggested searching closer to the dock. Within 30 minutes I heard a clear target. I gently waved my hand to move the silt and uncovered another piece of aluminum. Sitting next to it was Sara’s ring!

Getting to the Lake

Beautiful Site

Gear Staged

Easier to Get Dressed in the Water









Some Typical Trash


Saved From the Lake











lost man’s tungsten wedding ring in Coeur d’Alene Lake , Found!!!

  • from Spokane (Washington, United States)

Who would of known that in Carlin bay on lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho under 25 feet of water hid the monkey that has been riding my back since March. Oh and also Tyler’s wedding ring. This search was a great example of how knowing where a ring was lost can dramatically improve its ability to be recovered in the water. Tyler lost his wedding ring right behind his boat in the private marina he uses. Tyler was putting on some sunscreen when his tight fitting ring flew off. So after diving in and failing to see the ring, his wife found my Ring Finders link. After hearing his story I decided to use a dive weight with a 1ft PVC pipe attached to mark the spot where Tyler thought the ring entered the water. The fist attempt I made to find Tyler’s ring was unsuccessful. First of all the silt down at 25ft was 2 feet thick, and inside that silt was fishing tackle and wood boards. So before the second attempt Tyler relocated the marker. In fact he placed that marker so accurately when I dove down and started searching I found his ring in less then a minute. Just a hand full of silt was all it took to pluck Tyler’s ring out of the abyss. Feeling that ring slide over my finger as I moved my hand back and forth in front of the coil nearly sent me to the surface. However keeping my wits about me I made sure the ring was safely secured on my hand and checked out my surroundings before ascending. That’s when I saw it, the way I was going to surprise Tyler. A lost led light was sitting just a few feet to my right. I swam over to it and grabbed it with the same hand the ring was on and then headed top side. As I surfaced, Tyler’s face showed worry because I came back up so quickly and faster then I had before. Seeing this I held up the led light and asked him what do you think this is. His lack of response was priceless because then I turned my pinky finger with the ring on it towards him and said what do you think this is. Confusion turned to joy quickly and I congratulated Tyler on putting the marker right next to the ring. After packing up my gear Tyler showed me the inside of his ring. Psalm 119:105 and his wife’s finger print were laser etched on the ring. After I got home and unpacked, I grabbed the led light and thought about Tyler’s verse. The verse says
Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.
I then laughed out loud and said Amen.


Tyler’s ring

In the James River for over a year

  • from Fairfax (Virginia, United States)

9/24/16 Recovered: Engagement and Wedding rings set, lost last year in the James River.
SCUBA, 8’ to 10’ deep, 1:31 minutes, Garrett ATpro w/Gray Ghosts


Equipment & river access.

In August, I got an email from Lindsay after she saw my listing in the Ring Finder’s directory. She lost the rings last year when a friend accidentally pulled them off her fingers. She had another detectorist do a search that summer, but he could not complete the recovery.


The access to the river is on private property. With all the variables of work, family, and the schedules of the owners, it was difficult to schedule a day. We finally got to the river on a beautiful Saturday morning. My wife who is a certified divemaster, acted as my safety diver. Lindsay’s husband Brett, met us in a nearby town and we followed him to the property. A pleasant gentleman who is one of the landowners met us at the river.

Brett paddled out from the small dock to where he thought the rings dropped. He gave me every detail he could remember and placed me within 15 feet of where I found the rings. Brett’s memory and ability to find the location was invaluable. Lindsay was tenacious and never gave up hope. I am so glad I could help them recover the rings.

I have been metal detecting above and below the water for many years. This is my first recovery through Ring Finders. Thank you to Chris Turner for creating the directory and getting us together!




The rings after more than a year in the silt.


Here are some photos Lindsay just shared. She also added a comment at the end of this post. I love this hobby:)

Rings after a cleaning.

Rings after a cleaning.