St Albans dad finds wedding ring lost while swimming in Atlantic Ocean using child’s metal detector

David Harries with the wedding ring

David Harries with the wedding ring - Credit: Archant

A father who lost his wedding ring in the Atlantic Ocean has spoken of his shock and delight after finding it nearly 24 hours later using a child’s metal detector.

David Harries with the wedding ring

David Harries with the wedding ring - Credit: Archant

David Harries, of Sandridgebury Lane, St Albans, was holidaying in St Ives in Cornwall during the recent half-term holiday when he visited the beach with his two sons and wife Anthea.

The father of four, who is deputy head at Windermere primary school, went swimming in the sea in his wetsuit on the Thursday afternoon (June 2).

He said: “This was the first time I had gone swimming since a recent knee operation, and swimming is quite a big part of my life, so I was really happy to be in the water again.

“I have already lost my wedding ring once before so I always take off my watch and wedding ring before I go swimming, and it wasn’t until I was already in the water that I realised I forgot to take my ring off.”

David left the water and took off his wetsuit; he believes this is when he lost the ring. He said: “I looked around in a real panic and asked two girls next to me if they could help me find it.”

David proceeded to search for the ring along the shore with the help of other beach-goers, but his attempts to find the ring were fruitless.

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He returned to their holiday home to get his son’s metal detector, which he said was an inexpensive children’s model bought online.

David spent the remainder of the evening searching and returned the following day, which also happened to be their last.

He added: “I thought it might have been taken. You get people coming down with metal detectors at the end of the day trying to find money and jewellery left by people on the beach.”

Determined not to give up, David dug what he describes as a ‘channel’ on the beach and would walk up and down with the metal detector.

By this time the tide had gone out twice and David had little hope of finding it.

He continued: “I walked about six inches past the channel and I heard a really high pitched screeching from the metal detector.

“There had been other bits of metal I’d picked up on the way, bottle tops, coins, etc. so I wasn’t expecting it to be anything.”

By this time it was 5pm. David dug six inches beneath the sand and saw something shiny, which turned out to be his wedding ring.

He added: “I was shocked, I couldn’t believe it. I shouted to Anthea and said ‘Guess what I’ve found?”

David continued: “If I hadn’t had walked those extra six inches the wedding ring would have been gone forever.”