Scuba Diver Metal Detectorist Recovers Lost Diamond Engagement Ring in Chesapeake Bay…Glen Burnie, Maryland
Brian Rudolph, Lost Item Recovery Specialist (Land, Water, Sand, Snow, Leaves, Cliffs, Houses & Vehicles) Will Find Your Lost Keepsake! Call ASAP (301) 466-8644!
An engaged couple, Megan and Sean, were out on a boat for the day with some friends in the Glen Burnie, Maryland area (a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland). Even though Megan was extremely careful to protect her rings in the boat while they were all swimming earlier in the day, upon walking across their friend’s dock when they returned to shore, she lost two out of her four rings which fell out of a container when its lid flew off. One of the two rings that took to flight onto the dock and then into the water happened to be the most important material possession in Megan’s life – her 14 carat white gold 1.75 carat oval shaped diamond engagement ring with a halo of smaller diamonds encircling around the entire solitaire stone, as well as additional diamonds surrounding around half of the band. The other ring was a sterling silver band with CZ stones.
Megan desperately tried to catch the rings as they fell onto the dock but it was too late. The two of them just could not be accounted for. Sean, with urgency, jumped into the water (which was approximately 5 feet deep) and he desperately searched with a strainer or something in an attempt to recover the jewelry. Sadly, his efforts led to no avail.
With no other answer in sight, the couple looked online and they discovered a glimmer of hope…THE RING FINDERS! It’s an international directory listing metal detecting specialists all over the world! I happened to be the one who they called for help. Because I do underwater metal detecting and I am a certified scuba diver, the couple contacted me to seek my assistance in helping them recover Megan’s lost rings.
Later that evening after finishing up another underwater recovery project, I headed out to Glen Burnie, Maryland and met up with Megan, Sean and their friends who owned the dock and the property leading down to the water. They were all so very nice people. They showed me where the incident happened and Megan reenacted the whole ordeal from start to finish.
As soon as I got the full picture as to what we were dealing with, I waded the water as it was closer to low tide and so I was able to keep my head above the tributary water of the Chesapeake Bay and that of the Patapsco River.
None of my metal detecting efforts proved to be successful that night because I did not have a sand scoop with me at the time to bring up some of the targets I scanned. I only had underwater scuba gear with very little air in my tanks from my previous search. Therefore, I would have to return the next morning.
Early the next day, I returned back to the site to see if I could continue wading the water with my metal detecting sand scoop in order to be able to retrieve potential metal targets. Unfortunately, I encountered yet another obstacle – the low tide that morning turned out to be a super tide (based on the position of the moon and sun) which caused the water to be unordinarily high that day.
Because of the unusual high level of water that I was dealing with, I had to switch to using scuba gear. I only had a small amount of air left in my tanks (since I didn’t have the ability to fill them because all of the scuba shops were closed that Sunday or they didn’t open until 12pm). Regardless, I would see if I could safely use what I had left in the tanks and still keep my reserves.
The trek of hauling all of my dive equipment down to the bottom of the hill where the dock was located turned out to be an extremely daunting task. The hill was very steep and it was a very long way down the back side of the house which led to the dock. Nonetheless, I was able to transport the heavy gear down to the water and once again I attempted to find the important keepsakes at the bottom of the water. Unfortunately, I soon ran out of sufficient air in all of my tanks that I kept switching from one to another and that caused me to have to scrap yet another search effort. Sean and Megan were very understanding and I reassured them that I would return again soon with the necessary air supply and equipment to continue the search project.
The following day I drove back to the Chesapeake Bay to resume the search for third time. Because the water level drastically returned to normal status, I was able to wade the water while metal detecting for the jewelry. I spent nearly 8 hours or so in the water and I pulled up all kinds of items: bottle caps, pull tabs, fishing weights and lots more! Curiously though, I still could not find the two rings. I reported back to Sean via text messaging and showed him everything that I pulled up out of the water. I also encouraged him to « stay in the game » and to not be concerned that I did not find what we were looking for. Instead, I would return again shortly and continue my search efforts.
On my fourth day in a row out at the search site, I ended up bringing my hookah dive rig in order to provide me with unlimited air supply. Even though this was an effective way of keeping me down at the bottom of the water for large periods of time without having to keep switching from tank to tank with my scuba gear, there was another reason that I decided to go this route. Because I had spent the whole time in the water the previous day, I lost the opportunity to get my tanks filled at the dive shop. This was my best alternative.
My dive schedule was from 10am to 1pm that day and then I would return again at 6pm and dive until 8pm to continue the search. I was quite surprised that I still had no luck in finding the irreplaceable engagement ring and sterling silver ring that Megan and Sean so desperately wanted back. I searched all around the pilings and stretched out my underwater grid way passed the likely distance where the rings could have settled below. None of it made any sense to me but I was not going to give up the hunt in the least! Once again, I contacted Sean and reported to him everything that I did and all of the items that I continued to salvage from the bottom of the water. My client was clearly disappointed but he was also encouraged that I was not going to give up and that I was determined to find the jewels.
So far, I had invested 4 days of searching which amounted to 16 hours of search time, 528 miles of driving distance and 10 hours of drive time. And yet, as I shared above, I was not going to give up the fight. The diamond ring and sterling silver band were out there somewhere… just waiting to be discovered.
The next day I checked my schedule and corresponded with Sean as to when I could next get out to the search site to continue metal detecting. It turned out that my schedule was so booked up that I would not be able to return to that body of water for another 10 days. I knew this would not be easy for the couple to hear, but unfortunately I just didn’t have a single free day until the following week. My client agreed to wait and I told him that I greatly appreciated his patience and faith in my ability to recover the lost items.
10 days later, I was back at it again. I searched for another 12 hours and still I came out of the water with only trash. I couldn’t believe it! ‘What could have happened to those rings?’ I asked myself over and over again. I was utterly dumbfounded. I had searched multiple times under the dock, around all of the pilings and grid searched 15 feet from the dock out towards the middle of the water on both sides of the boards. And still I couldn’t come away with a single piece of lost precious metal. I metal detected as far out as I possibly could go, even to the point where I began metal detecting under the boat that was adjacent to the dock that I had been focused on the whole time. I was desperate and I searched « outside the box » on every level and yet I still could not find any success for my clients.
When that 12-hour day came to an end, in total, up to that point, with all of the set up, searching, take down and pack up time that I had expended thus far, it all added up to 30 hours of labor. Also, I had driven 670 miles to and from the site and racked up 12 hours of time on the road.
I dreaded having to call Sean and share the bad news with him. I really didn’t expect these lack of results for a search that seemed pretty cut and dry. However, as a professional metal detectorist, the searches we anticipate to be the easiest recoveries sometimes end up being the most perplexing of them all! This was certainly one of them.
Although we initially called it quits after that last scheduled 12 hour search day, I texted Sean back a day or two later and asked him if it would be okay for me to try again to find the rings just once more before I closed the book permanently on this unsolved mystery. Sean was quite happy that I was still willing to give it another try. He figured as I did that there was nothing to lose with me trying one more time.
I wanted to see if maybe the rings flew over to a section of the water where there were large pieces of metal lying at the bottom of the water. It was a spot that was almost impossible to detect based on the heavy content of aluminum and steel that could have been potentially « masking » the rings in that isolated region of the Bay.
Originally, I told Sean that if the rings ended up in that area, it would be impossible for me to recover them based on the hours that it would take to remove each and every piece of metal that was buried in that section. Regardless, I wanted to give it one more shot and see if just maybe I could metal detect just one small area of that giant cemetery of miscellaneous items and hope for the best.
Three days after the most recent search attempt, I headed out towards Glen Burnie once again. Regretfully, a terrible storm was moved through the area and I had to call off the search that particular day. Instead, I rescheduled my trip back out to the Bay three days later.
The next search attempt took place 4 days later. I planned to wade the water with my detector in hand, attempting to reach the neighbor’s boat lift piling where I wanted to detect a 3 foot by 3 foot area around the piling where my grid would not reach during the previous search. Also, I would scan over by the other adjacent neighbor’s jet ski platform where there was about a 3 foot gap that I didn’t detect before because I ran out of grid area to fit my PVC grid sections over in that space to investigate. As it turned out, I was not able to accomplish my objectives based on the high tide level that I experienced that particular day. Therefore, I was unable to wade the water at all during that time frame and I would have to reschedule another trip out yet again.
Even though I encountered another setback in my path while trying to wrap up the search and give it my all one last time, I was determined not to soak in despair over it. Instead, I would have to wait four more days before returning to the site to see what I could find in those couple of sections.
Four days passed by and I finally made it back out to the Glen Burnie water to try again to recover the lost rings. I stayed for about 3.5 hours and accomplished part of my objectives that I had planned for that particular morning. I initially thought I could finish everything up in a short period of time but there was just too much metal to detect in those two isolated regions that I had been focusing on.
When it was time to leave to go to my next client, I told Sean that I was committed to returning later that afternoon to wrap up what I had initially started earlier that day. I thought I could finish everything up in a short period of time but there was just too much metal to detect in those two isolated regions that I had been focusing on.
Later that same afternoon, I was able to get back into the water and metal detect the remaining areas that I started working on earlier that day. I brought all of my scuba diving equipment down to the water and all of my search time involved scuba detecting. I concentrated my efforts over by the neighbor’s boat lift where all of that excess metal was buried. It was completely overwhelming just how much work was involved in detecting piece after piece after piece of miscellaneous metal. However, I never gave up and I just kept pushing myself to keep the faith through the whole search process.
As it turned out, I am beyond excited to share that after burning a good amount of dive time below, just before I was about to call it quits for the very last time, I ended up getting another promising target signal. I pulled out my pinpointer to identify the exact location of where this one piece of metal was hiding (as I did each and every time that I had to salvage yet another piece of trash) and when I finally was able to handle the object between my fingers, my heart began to race faster and faster at that very moment. The small item that I was investigating happened to feel round in shape, with an empty space in the center of it – like a halo…like a ring! And that is exactly what it turned out to be! I couldn’t believe what I was looking at under the water at the bottom of the Bay! I found it! I found Megan’s incredibly exquisite diamond engagement ring! I could not comprehend what I was staring at in the murky water below! I was in a state of utter shock! In all of the time that I had been searching for the jewelry, I would end up finding the engagement ring in the most unexpected and the most difficult of places! I never gave up and I never gave in! I pushed myself harder and harder to continue searching for this irreplaceable keepsake and all of my unrelenting efforts led to finally discovering the lost buried treasure that I had been hoping to find all along!
Once I secured the piece of jewelry in my treasure bottle, I didn’t stop there. I decided to continue on and see if I could find the sterling silver ring somewhere in the same vicinity. And yes, a short time later, my hunch turned out to be « right on the money » once again! I excitedly found the second ring buried below the silt not too far from where I found the first one! My search was finally over! There was so much relief flowing through me! I just wanted to inflate my scuba BCD to acquire neutral buoyancy and just float on my back for awhile as I soaked in that incredible moment! Yes, I completed my mission and I couldn’t wait to share the exciting news with my beloved clients!
Later that evening, I drove a good long distance out into the country where Sean and Megan resided. If I were to say that I shocked the living daylights out of this couple when I surprised them with the beautiful diamond engagement ring (as well as the sterling silver band), I would be truly making a great understatement! The two of them were completely taken back by my visit and certainly even more amazed by the sight of what the couple both had concluded within their hearts that they would never see it ever again!
In total, I expended 35 hours of gear set up time, metal detecting and equipment pack up time, I traveled 1110 miles in round trip miles, and I racked up 16 hours of drive time.
I was extremely excited for what I was able to accomplish for my clients and I am certainly proud to be a member of THE RING FINDERS metal detectorist directory because of how I have the opportunity to help so many people just like Megan and Sean recover their most priceless jewelry that can never be replaced.
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