Almost A Miracle
By: Jim Warnke
Sooner or later almost every detectorist will return a lost valuable to its frantic owner. Rings, watches, wallets, cell phones you name it. Someone tells a friend he has lost a ring on the beach, and that friend knows someone with a detector, and soon a recovery is made. Most coil swingers turn down a reward, satisfied with the good feeling of having done a stranger a good deed.
It was a Monday morning when I got a call from a guy at Fort Lauderdale Beach, 35 miles south of my home, about losing his rings in the ocean. "Well," I thought, "there is not much of a chance that those rings will ever be found. He said his name was Kirk Gyllenskog, and he and his new bride, Elise, had just been married in Salt Lake City and were on their honeymoon. He told me that they were standing at the edge of the surf and had put their rings in his camera case for safekeeping. When he took out the camera to snap a few shots, they didn't realize that the rings had dropped into the sea until they got back to their motel and found them missing. They went right back to the beach but, of course, could not find the rings. Kirk then had the presence of mind to ask the lifeguard on duty if anyone had found the rings. "No," the lifeguard told them, "but I have a card here from a metal detecting club, and one of them might help." It was a card from the Gold Coast Treasure Club in West Palm Beach with my name on it, which resulted in a call to me for help.
As I mentioned, it was Monday morning. I couldn't find one of our members available, and I was tied up. So, I called Tom McGrath, president of the South Florida Metal Detecting Club, and left a message. When he called back later, I told him the story and he got in touch with the Gyllenslogs, who met Tom and some other detectorists on the beach. Search, search, search- to no avail!
The sad and disheartened couple returned to Orem, Utah without their precious rings. Her engagement ring was platinum with a one-carat diamond, and his was a platinum wedding band. A week later Tom was driving down A1A along the beach and saw a friend of his detecting the shoreline. He found a place to park on the crowded beach front, but his friend was too far up along the shore to hear him calling. "What the heck," Tom thought, "as long as I'm here I might as well give those rings another search."
He got his Fisher CZ-20 out of the trunk and worked the shoreline for awhile with the detector set for all metal, and then waded into a few inches of water. It was low tide. Tom found very little, just some pulltabs and a couple of pennies. He was getting discouraged and had almost quit for the day when he got a faint signal in his earphones. The Fisher indicated a deep target at about 10". He scooped and came up with a wedding band and then went over the target area again. There was still a signal. He scooped again and found the diamond ring! Tom said afterwards, "I yelled out loud, I was so excited! I couldn't believe that I found the pair of precious rings!"
I asked Tom if he gave any thought about keeping the rings and not saying anything. He replied, "No, I'm a treasure hunter, not a thief." Tom called the Gyllenskogs as soon as he got home and told them of the wonderful recovery. They, of course, were ecstatic. Tom sent the rings back to them the next day, and they called back and told him, "We received the rings, and they were in excellent condition. We slid them on each other's fingers, and it was as if we were married for the second time!"
The South Florida Treasure Club received a nice reward in the mail, as well as a long letter of sincere appreciation. Perhaps Tom's search was guided by an unseen Hand: at exactly the same time he found the rings, the newlywed couple in Utah were praying for the recovery of their lost symbols of marriage.