Retrieving a lost ring from a lake sounds like looking for a needle in haystack. Luckily, this seemingly impossible task turned out to be a successful rescue mission for one skilled scuba diver. After a woman named Jennie lost her wedding ring while she was swimming with her family in Bass Lake, California, she reached out for help. The call was then answered by Michael Pelley, better known as “Merman Mike,” a diver with a knack for recovering lost items underwater.
“Once we got there, we learned that not only was it a manmade lake, but the area I would be searching in was about 45 feet deep,” Pelley wrote in the caption of the YouTube video documenting it all. “Almost immediately after I reached the bottom of the lake, I realized how difficult the search was going to be. The silt had immediately clouded out the area and I was in almost zero visibility.”
Despite the apparent challenges, he knew he had to try. The wedding ring had a price tag of $9,500, but the emotional attachment the wearer had to the trinket was greater than any number. “It’s very sentimental to me, we’ve been married for 10 years,” the owner shares in the video. After a first fruitless search, Pelley went back into the water for his deepest dive ever.
“I followed the anchor line back down to 47 feet and started searching again!” the skilled diver explains. “I then started to search with my metal detector while keeping one hand on the anchor so I would know where I was. After pulling a couple of sticks and cans out of the thick silt, I finally pulled out what I thought was going to be another bottle top or pull tab, but instead I was looking at a giant diamond! It was the wedding ring!”
The video of the moment sees him screaming “Oh my god!” in disbelief and having to cool off an adrenaline rush. “I was beyond excited,” he admits, “especially because I knew how slim the odds of me actually finding it were!”
Although he had found the ring, the way out of the water presented another challenge. Since his fingers were almost numb, he feared the ring could slip out of his hands. After what felt like the longest safety stop of his career, he finally emerged, and handed the ring to its very thankful owner.
A lover of nature, Pelley believes that “you can't just go for the treasure, you have to get the trash too.” Hoping to find some more lost items that people might be looking for, as well as keeping the lake clean, he went down once again. While he found some sunglasses and a smartphone that he couldn't turn back on, he was thrilled to have fulfilled his mission. “Finding and returning the wedding ring back to Jennie was the main goal and we were able to achieve it so I couldn't be more happy about the outcome!”
To stay up to date with Merman Mike and his quest to return lost belongings and explore the depths, you can follow him on Instagram.
Michael Pelley, better known as “Merman Mike,” is a diver with a knack for finding lost items underwater. He recently recovered a $9,500 wedding ring from the bottom of a lake.
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