Back in September of this year Travis and Cora reached out TheRingFinders looking for an under water search specialist to recover their lost wedding band. After a full day on the lake Cora was passing the ring to her husband when it got fumbled and fell to bottom of the lake. It was fortunately in a shallow area in what seemed to be a very simple recovery. Travis dove down several times over a course of weeks then hired a diver from the local dive shop with no success. He then found me though TheRingFinders and my first free diving attempts with my detector wound up insufficient. As the months went on I would occasionally send a note to them that I had not forgotten their lost ring in the lake as I was in the process of getting the proper dive gear and training.
Now December with the holiday season upon us, I was now fully kitted and trained enabling me to make a return visit to the lake to compete the mission. On the day of the recovery Cora and Travis were unaware that I was making another attempt. So we took the opportunity to surprise the family with an exciting ring recovery return…
Watch this video to see the exciting revel when we reunite the ring to its owners!
On October 1st David made his first attempt at climbing one of Colorado’s 14ers (a m0untain who’s peak is over 14,000′ above sea level), he made this attempt with his friends Luke and Elizabeth. The weather was perfect and things were going well until they neared the summit, that is when altitude sickness hit David. Altitude sickness consists of headaches, dizziness, confusion and in more extreme cases nausea. David knew that even though the summit was within sight that he could not make it so he sat down to rest while Luke and Elizabeth summited the mountain. On their way down David noticed that his wedding band was missing. The group checked their photos of their hike and the last photo of David on a saddle near where they currently were standing he had his ring on. So they knew that his ring had to be within a couple hundred feet or so but hidden amongst the boulders. Luke and Elizabeth returned to the spot where David had stopped and searched for the ring, no luck. On their way down the mountain David’s altitude sickness continued and add to that the anxiety of losing his wedding band.
David contacted me that following week and arranged for me to meet up Luke and Elizabeth to retrace his steps back up the mountain and search for his ring. I brought with me two of my lightest detectors to take up the mountain to search for David’s ring. The hike is 3 1/2 miles with a vertical gain of over 2,800′ to the summit. We met at 7:30 AM and began our hike/ climb, the first mile and a half were pretty easy the next couple of miles were taxing. When we reached the area where the photo of David with his ring still on, I broke out my Teknetics T2 and gave that to Luke. I spent a few minutes with him teaching him the sounds of the machine and how to properly swing the machine. Elizabeth continued up the mountain to the point where David had stopped his climb. Upon reaching her I set up my Minelab GoFind 60 and spent a few minutes teaching Elizabeth to detect and the sounds of the machine. I then continued my climb and summited the mountain (it would have been a shame to make it that far and not summit). When I returned to the area where Elizabeth was searching she handed me the detector and she began pulling snow from the areas that were deeper than the detector could reach. Luke had made his way up the mountain and was searching this area as well. After over a half hour of searching we decided to start making our way down the mountain. Just then Luke comes around the rock that David had sat on and saaw the wedding band peeking out of it’s hiding spot. High fives were given and several photos were taken. I checked my GPS and the ring was recovered at 13,840′ above sea level.
Ring recovered 10-8-2016 (elevation 13,840′)
Luke and I at the recovery site
Look through the center of the ring at the mountain, that is the approximate location of the recovery site.
I am very fortunate to have the North Cascade Mountain range and the Mount Baker Wilderness practically in my backyard, here in Bellingham, Washington. We have backpacked and explored much of the area and trails but there was one jaunt that had been elusive and escaped us. My wife and I have never hiked the Winchester Mountain Lookout Trail. We’ve always wanted to but it just never happened until last week when I received a call from a young couple who lost a ring on the trail up the mountain.
The Winchester Mountain Lookout is an old Ranger fire lookout built in 1935 and staffed until 1966. It was slated for demolition in 1982 but rescued by the Mount Baker Club who now keeps it up and is used for overnighters who want to spend nights there. It is quite comfortable but no longer has a wood stove in it. But the key feature to this spot is its views. A magnificent 360° view of the Mount Baker Wilderness and into British Columbia.
So when the call came in I was excited, saddened by their loss but excited at the opportunity to get up there and take a look, for the ring and the view. So my wife and I met Ethan and his wife at the trailhead and up the mountain we went.
The ring was lost about a mile up the trail, maybe a bit less, about 6000 ft. elevation. They had it marked with a GPS coordinate. But they knew the spot all too well as they had been back looking for it with a rented metal detector with no success. If there is only one piece of advice I can give someone who has lost some jewelry, it would be to not waste time and money on a rental metal detector. Probably 90% of the people who contact me had already rented a metal detector and tried. It is not worth it because in most cases it will not be an adequate detector and they are not as easy to operate as one might think. Well we made it to the spot and went to work.
The ring was lost when a large bug landed on her hand and she quickly whisked it away along with the ring down a steep slope off the trail. They pointed out the area where it happened and we recreated the mishap. I started with the area where they thought it was and had no luck. I then worked my way out from there and made the find.
It is always nice to put a smile on someone’s face, in this case I got two big smiles. Then we packed up and headed to the top. It turned out to be a beautiful clear day with spectacular views. What a rewarding day. I love this hobby and love The Ring Finders.
After a couple of nice sunny summer days (finally) the phone started to ring. This young man had lost his white gold wedding band in five feet of water at White Pine Beach in Poco. This lake is beautiful and you are not allowed to search here without permission. I received permission to find the ring and leave, this was good news as you could imagine how important it was for him to have it found. He’d only been married for nine months and I could tell how bad he felt about losing his ring. My only chance of finding his ring would be if it was in the first 5 feet of water, as I don’t dive…But we do have a diver from Squamish who would’ve come out to help, if it was deeper then I could search. I started my search and it was pretty quite with only a couple of signals before I got the loud proud signal that turned out to be his white gold wedding band.
Because the young man took reference marks of the area the ring was lost in, it made my job so much easier! This could have taken many hours of searching if he didn’t mark the area the ring was lost…That being said after this quick search I headed out on another water search where someone had lost their ring but couldn’t tell me where it came off their finger…The search area was as long as a soccer field and I spent 5 hours with no luck…So if you think I find everything, I don’t, I can only find what is there to be found.
Early Monday morning I received an e-mail from Chris stating that his girlfriend had lost a small gold ring at Cocoa Beach late Sunday afternoon. As they were leaving the beach they realized their bag had a hole in it and the ring had slipped out. They spent an hour looking in the sand but were not able to find the ring. That night Chris went online to look for information on recovering lost jewelery and came across my name at theringfinders web site.
Later Monday morning I was able to talk to Chris and we set up a time to meet up half way and drive to the exact location. It was an absolutely beautiful spring day in the low 80’s with a cool breeze coming off the pristine Atlantic Ocean!
Chris showed me right where they had put their bag and the two paths on which they had walked to and from the car. (He also had lost a single car key that later on as we were searching the sand Chris was able to spot by eye and we were only 15 minutes into the search!)
I found the usual junk items in the sand–bottle caps and a few pull tabs along with a cool little hot wheels car–but no ring! I then decided to widen my search along one of the path ways and got a small signal that was barely audible and as I kicked the sand away to reveal the item— there was a small silver part of a band showing in the sand!!
It was such a thrill to be able to hand Chris his girlfriend’s precious ring and to see the joy it brought him!