Lost Gold Wedding Band… Found in Annapolis, Maryland’s Severn River
BRIAN RUDOLPH, LOST ITEM RECOVERY SPECIALIST (LAND, WATER, SAND, HOUSES & VEHICLES) WILL FIND YOUR LOST KEEPSAKE! CALL ASAP (301) 466-8644!
I received a phone call from a gentleman named Justin who explained to me that he lost his 14 karat yellow gold wedding band while he was playing with his children in the Severn River located in Annapolis, Maryland. The family loves to visit grandma and grandpa who live in the Sherwood Forest community which overlooks the beautiful water. Justin went on to explain that he was picking up his children and throwing them into the water when he believed that he saw his wedding band fly off his finger. The desperate man attempted to dive to the bottom of the river to see if he could claim his most precious keepsake, but unfortunately he couldn’t find the ring anywhere. Justin realized at that point that there was no other possibility of recovering his ring other than contacting a professional metal detectorist who could either search while wading in the water or dive below to recover the band. He looked online and found the elite international metal detecting service directory called THE RING FINDERS. There were two detectorists in his area, so he contacted a fellow out his way and then the other was me, Brian Rudolph.
Once I heard the entire story of what happened to Justin’s ring, I shared with the gentleman that I would be more than happy to help him recover this lost keepsake. He expressed that he wanted to get it back as soon as possible. I thought that was very “chivalrous” of him because he wanted the symbol of his love back on his finger right away! That’s how much he loves his wife! We set up a time for me to come out to the private gated community sometime in the afternoon the following day. I couldn’t wait to get into the water. Justin said that the water was approximately five to six feet in depth when he was playing with his children at the time that the ring got lost in the water. This fellow measured around 6 feet, 2 inches tall, so he didn’t feel uncomfortable in the deeper section off of the private beach along the pier area.
I mentioned to Justin that if the tide brought in a depth of water over 5 feet, 2 inches or more, I would most likely have to return with air supply so that I could dive for the ring. He thought that I would be able to recover the item without having to bring dive gear. We exchanged information and I told him that I couldn’t wait to meet the family and return this very special piece of property to his hand once again.
Early the next morning, I was woken up by a phone call from the other metal detectorist who serves the Annapolis, Maryland area. I didn’t know who the gentleman was because I had never met the other detectorist, but once he explained who he was, he went on to share that he had just come out of the Severn River and was unable to recover Justin’s wedding band. Even for the 6 foot tall detectorist, the water was too deep and his metal detector stopped working when it got flooded by water entering its inner housing compartment. Even though it was a waterproof detector, the Severn River got the best of it. Apparently, the fellow got called out to help prior to my call and he wanted to let me know what I would be up against when I would come out later that day. The guy was shivering and I felt so bad that he endured such conditions trying to help dear old Justin.
After thanking the detectorist for calling me and giving me the update, I called the client and the two of us discussed a new strategy. Instead of me coming out that particular day and experience water that would be too deep for me to wade in the river, I decided that the best thing to do would be to bring out my air supply and dive for the ring. Justin was completely on board and he was willing to wait another week until I had my new trailer hitch attached to the vehicle so I could haul my additional equipment (my other car died six months earlier and I needed a new receiver attached to my latest vehicle). I greatly appreciated his patience as it would take a few extra days to get an appointment at the hitch center.
We had talked on a Monday and we were hoping by Saturday I could get out to the river and conduct the recovery. Unfortunately, I would not be able to have the hitch put on until later that Saturday afternoon, and therefore we would have to postpone the search for another day. Then, weather conditions got rough during the following week and it wasn’t until Friday of that week (11 days after Justin initially called me) that I was able to make the trip to Annapolis, Maryland to conduct the recovery operation.
Finally, the day arrived when I was able to meet up with Justin and his family out by the private community beach and conduct the search for Justin’s missing wedding band. The day was simply picture-perfect! There were only blue and sunny skies and it felt warm and comfortable outside.
I couldn’t wait to get in the water! I arrived at the gated community around 4:15pm on that Friday afternoon. Justin met me outside the gate and I then followed him into Sherwood Forest as he took me to the private beach area where he believed he saw the ring fly off his finger. I will never forget how exclusive I felt as I drove behind Justin’s vehicle and passed the community golf course and country club, along with exquisite homes and beautiful landscaping all about. Eventually everything in front of me opened up to this most magnificent natural painting of God’s gorgeous creation of the vast water of the Severn River with sailboats and other vessels moving across the water as people enjoyed their summer fun! We drove parallel with the river and finally we reached the parking area where the beach was located.
There were plenty of people in the water and enjoying the summer day. It was hot outside and delightful in every regard. I loved seeing all the activity with families and children moving about along the shore. Children were enjoying their play time in the water, as well.
As soon as we both parked, Justin and I officially met one another “face mask to face mask” and then he promptly took me onto the pier, which was perpendicular to the lovely sandy beach. He walked me all the way to the very end of the boards and it was there that he pointed out towards the water where Justin claimed that he saw his ring slip off his finger and head down below. I didn’t waste any time and immediately got into the river and checked out my surroundings. Obviously, the tide was being good to me as I was able to still have my head above water. I realized that my six-foot metal detectorist friend who came out nearly 2 weeks earlier didn’t have such favor. It turned out that I didn’t need to use the air supply after all based on what I discovered regarding the tide flow at that point in the day.
I looked at Justin and I said to him, “What’s the big deal here? Let’s do this!” He smiled and shrugged his shoulders. I told him this was no big deal and I headed back to the car to pull out all of my gear. I couldn’t wait to recover Justin’s cherished wedding band!
Once I got everything I needed out of the vehicle, I transported my Xtreme sand scoop made by fellow Ring Finder directory member, John Volek, along with my metal detector, harness, floating sifter (to dump sand and shells into in order to detect for precious metal), waterproof headphones and my pinpointer. I was ready for business!
As I made my way into the water from the sandy shore, everyone looked on to see what was going to happen. I saw Justin on the pier near to my route in the water and I said to him, “I’ll be back with your ring”. We both smiled and I just knew that I would love every minute of this search!
Once I got to the spot where I needed to start searching, I began my imaginary water grid line as far out as I possibly could, but starting closest to the pier pilings. Slowly and methodically I moved from west to east and then back again towards the pilings. When I reached a distance that I knew was way too far from where Justin could have lost the ring, I moved back in the direction from where I came and continued adding to the gridlines, moving slowly in the direction towards shore. As I slowly metal detected the bottom of the river, one of Justin’s sons swam over to me. I asked the kid what his recollection was regarding where he had been thrown off of his dad’s shoulders and he confirmed that I was searching in the right area.
I continued with my consistent grid pattern, moving the coil underwater back and forth, hoping to pull up a signal that I was all so very familiar with regarding classic men’s 14 karat yellow gold wedding bands like Justin’s! I did find a few random targets, including a BMW key fob. I also found different parts and pieces that came off of boats and other types of equipment which ended up at the bottom of the river. Yet, I still had not found the item that I was commissioned to recover. Each time I pulled up something, I would hold up the artifact high in the air and the large audience of adults and children along the beach were keeping watch of what I was discovering.
It was sometime around the fifteenth minute mark into the search when I hit a similar signal that the metal detector had picked up a few minutes earlier. I was hoping that this particular target would in fact be Justin’s wedding band. The visual display indicator numbers on my screen were coming up in the range of exactly what I was looking for. I knew that Justin’s fingers were quite thick and large, so we were definitely looking for something that had some serious weight to it and plenty of gold to go around. I used the same method to search the bottom as with all of my other targets that I pursued earlier. I pushed my sand scoop down into the sand at the bottom of the river and then brought the scoop to my side so that I could metal detect that particular spot to see if I grabbed the object or not. Unfortunately, I missed the item and repeated the same sequence of actions. Once again, when I moved the scoop of sand and shells off to the side and then waved the metal detector coil back and forth in the area of where I was scooping, I still was getting that same target signal down below. I was determined to find out what this object was and I would not move on until I had my answer.
Once again, I pursued the target and aimed my scoop right in front of me and pushed as far down as I could into the sand and silt. Then, I brought the loaded scoop over to the side to see if I had success in removing the piece of metal from its resting place. To my excitement, when I swung the coil back and forth at the bottom of the river in that spot where I was working, there was no longer any indication that a piece of metal was in that location. Whatever I had detected, it was now in the scoop. I then lifted the sand scoop up above the water and then flipped it to remove the contents onto the floating sifter that was tethered to my detector harness.
It was now time to inspect what was dumped onto the sifter and see if I hit the bull’s-eye. Well, to my overwhelming delight, buried in the middle of all of that sand, shells, silt, and clams, I saw a fantastic sight to behold! I caught a glimpse of a yellow gold ring piercing through the pile. I did it! I successfully found Justin’s handsome yellow gold wedding band! With excitement and elation, I picked up the huge piece of jewelry and held it up in the air and yelled to Justin and all of the others, “I got it! I found the ring!” Everybody along the shore and the kids in the water all began clapping and congratulating me on the recovery of Justin’s ring! I was so glad that I was able to find his band when I did because the tide was moving in quite quickly and I only had just a handful of minutes left before the water would be above my mouth area. I walked from out of the deep area towards the sandy beach holding the ring up high and showing everyone what came from the depths of the Severn River!
Justin was beyond thrilled at this fabulous success story! Everything happened so fast and I couldn’t have been happier that we were able to recover the item without any confusion or complications! Sometimes water searches are not so easy as there are so many factors that play into how the ring gets lost and what people remember at the time of the disappearance. This search and recovery was definitely in the books as a quick and easy recovery! Justin kept thanking me over and over again as he placed that large ring on his finger! He introduced me to his wife, Kelly, and their two boys that were hanging out around me gathered to see what I had pulled from the bottom of the river. Some of the community members yelled over to congratulate me and I in turn thanked everyone for their kindness and support. I was just so happy to get this very sentimental keepsake back to its proper owner!
It was truly a wonderful story on that beautiful summer afternoon! I was so elated that Justin believed in my abilities enough to wait over a week and a half for me to make the hour trip to the Severn River and lift that handsome piece of gold from the depths of the water and return it back to the one who received it many years ago from his beloved bride on their most precious wedding day! Indeed, I certainly love what I do and I love doing it for people like Justin, Kelly and their two boys!
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