I had a distress call the other day from a guy who had lost his ring in the sea. Apparently he is a canoeist and was upside down in the water performing an Eskimo roll when his heavy silver ring fell off his finger. All credit to the man as despite his situation at the time, he did manage to work out where he had lost the ring with some accuracy, it transpired.
I met him the next day at low tide, when he showed me where he thought he had lost the ring. This was on the sloping part of the beach not far below the high tide line and we thought the ring would have rolled or been washed down on to the flat part of the beach, where stones are dropped and accumulate. I was using my preferred beach detector, an old Minelab Sovereign XS2A Pro, fitted with a 15 inch WOT coil, which gives good and fast coverage, good discrimination and good depth. The guy was also searching diligently – eyes only. We must have spent more than half an hour on this patch before I decided to start again at the loss point, searching up and down the beach from the high tide line, over the pebble patch and a few yards out into the muddy sand. I figured that if the ring was going to be carried, then this would be in the direction of long-shore drift to the west and spent another half hour searching up and down in that direction. As I felt I was too far away from the loss spot by then I returned to the loss spot and followed the same procedure in an easterly direction. After around twenty minutes a sharp signal revealed the ring at two inches deep in the sandy slope, ten yards to the east and five yards above the supposed loss spot.
So I guess the ring had gone more or less straight into the sandy bottom and stayed there. Had I realised that, I could have found the ring in less than half the time by initially circling the suspected loss spot and once the high tide line had been reached, switching to a ‘U’ pattern sweep from the high tide line, out to sea, under the loss spot and back up to the high tide line on the other side. Nevertheless, it was one happy bunny who went home with his ring that afternoon.