I received an email wondering if I could go up to a western Wisconsin lake and see if I could recover a lost ring. It was about 14o miles away. Wanting to ensure a successful recovery on the first trip we waited until both could meet on site to confirm the location of where it was lost. The water in the lake is getting very cold around 36 degrees F. so waders were going to have to be used. I was told that the ring came off while uncovering a boat. The ring slipped off and went into the lake near the end of the dock in about 4 feet of water. The lake levels can be lowered for the winter by conservation officials and was down about a foot from summer levels. This putting the search area in around 3 -4 feet of water. This was about the maximum depth that I could go before water would come over the waders and my hand would be submerged holding on to the metal detector. I also use an aluminum scoop to recover targets to prevent from having to get wet this time of year. The search area was about a 15′ x 10′ area. Several attempts were made at finding the ring by the owner and friends and neighbor. They tried snorkeling, raking and tried a metal detector with no luck. I have in the past had searchers looking for lost items using rakes end up moving the rings to a new location, which expands the search area. I started out with my primary search. A primary search is an initial search in the area of the highest degree of likelihood. It is usually just seeing how many targets are out in the location and if anything just screams hear I am. The lost ring was platinum with some diamonds. So you look for somewhat shallow targets, anything deeper then 4″ is kind of ruled out. The bottom of lakes if real sandy might get pushed down by searchers stepping on it but in this case there was a hardpan layer about 2″ below the bottom sand so it was going to be shallow. I did pick up several targets that were in the range of the ring but turned out to be pop tops/ pull tabs, bottle caps and other misc. junk targets. After searching for 15 – 20 minutes I got a hit on pretty good signal but not jumping out, I had set my scoop down on the dock which was about 6-8′ away. When hitting that target I did not want to take my eye off the target location but I needed to go grab the scoop. Its not hard to loose the target by waves pushing you or currents in rivers. I identified a small white pebble on the bottom that I could come back to. I grabbed the scoop and found the white stone. took a scoop and missed the target, took and second scoop and I had whatever it was in my scoop. BAM there it was… The ring, what a great feeling seeing the ring in your scoop. It never gets old. Now to reunite the owner to the ring. When I walked back up the hill to the cabin, I mentioned to owner that was standing out on the deck – “boy a lot of junk targets out there”. He said yes he was afraid of that. When I extended my hand out with the ring, it took him by surprise. You found it. You could just see the emotion run across his face. The ring had such deep sentimental value that when reunited you can feel that everything is back in it place and the relief that you are complete again. It’s so great to see that relief happen right before your eyes.
Never gets old.