An Eastbourne man lost his wedding ring in the sea just days after getting married – but miraculously it has been found.
Justin Freeman, from Upperton, married his wife, Shelly Diamond, on November 1 at Eastbourne Town Hall. Unfortunately, he lost the ‘sentimental’ family ring just two weeks later while on his routine morning swim in the ocean.
The newlywed said, “I was shocked. I have never owned a ring before and I just went for my swim as per normal and didn’t think anything of it. As I went into the water my ring slipped off my finger. I was not that far out.
“I tried scrambling around but it was cold and I could not find anything. It was not very practical to start searching the sea.
“It has sentimental value. My wife said we should get a metal detectorist to help. Someone suggested this guy, Andy Williams.”
Justin said Andy has a high success rate this year for finding items at sea – he has found 24 in total in 2019.
The 60-year-old said, “We met up the next morning and I showed Andy the spot where I lost it and left him to look. He found it within 40 minutes and sent me a pic and there it was.
“We were very impressed. I had this slight confidence he would find it. It was obviously a nice surprise when he did.”
Justin said his wife was ‘very cool’ about it and the first to say ‘let’s go find it’.
Andy Williams said, “I saw an advert put out by Justin on Facebook. He contacted me and I met him down near the Wish Tower cafe. He went off to do his shopping and 40 minutes later I rang him to say I had found it.
“Justin was over the moon and so was his wife. He was very precise with the actual area where he lost it which made it easier.”
Andy, who got into metal detecting five years ago after he borrowed a friend’s detector, donated the money Justin offered him to the South East Research Society – which puts on local displays, including axes, Saxon and Celtic artefacts.
The 38-year-old said, “If I can return something it means much more to me than charging money. You would be surprised how much gets lost at sea. I’ve found rings, pandora bracelets, medieval coins.”