The ring belonged to a friend of Sandra Thakeray, who lost it during a recent barbecue she had arranged for family and friends.
It was found the next day by detectorist Steve Andrews. The piece of jewellery had been made from the wedding ring of the woman’s late husband and was extremely precious to her. She lost it when everyone went for a swim before the barbecue.
‘We were walking back to where we were sitting when my friend realised she had lost her ring. You can imagine her devastation when she realised this. Knowing that the ring was gone for good, our evening was obviously tarnished,’ said Mrs Thakeray.
After seeing a comment that Mr Andrews had posted on social media about finding lost items, Mrs Thakeray contacted him. ‘He came back to me with such a positive reply, I thought maybe there is a chance he could find the ring. After asking questions regarding times and tides, Steve said he would go out in the early hours of the next morning to search. To my absolute delight, but disbelief at first, Steve went to the beach at 3am with his detector and found the ring at 3.48am.’
Mr Andrews, who is a firefighter with the Jersey Fire and Rescue Service, joined the Jersey Metal Detecting Society two years ago and has found various items for people since then.
‘Since taking up detecting I have recovered rings for people on nine occasions and have also been able to return a speedboat propeller and a necklace,’ said Mr Andrews. ‘People will sometimes contact the JMDS via Facebook and ask for our help when they have lost items and I will offer my assistance when I can.’
Based on details about the loss of the ring Mr Andrew planned the search area using a satellite image and GPS technology.
‘I wouldn’t normally go detecting at 3am, but this time I chose to go on the low tide at night, when there was less traffic, the beach was quieter and it was cooler. I had prepared to spend hours searching for the ring but was very lucky to find it within an hour, 280 metres from the sea wall.
‘I was genuinely surprised to find it, though I thought it must be the one.’
Mrs Thakeray verified that it was the right one. ‘To have that confirmation was elating as Sandra had told me how much the ring meant to her friend,’ said Mr Andrews.
Mrs Thakeray added: ‘I cannot tell you how much we appreciate Steve’s help. We were just so lucky to find him on social media and it means so much to my dear friend who has now been reunited with her precious and sentimental ring.
‘We will never forget Steve’s help and kindness.’