Now that’s truly a great lake. Jamie Kennedy figured she’d never see her wedding ring again after losing it last month during a dip in Lake Michigan. However, with the help of social media, one metal-detecting good Samaritan, and a little bit of luck, the 1.3-carat diamond was returned to its rightful owner only two days after it had been lost.
Kennedy, who resides in Decatur, Michigan, had gone for a dip in the water on Friday, July 22, when a wave of dread overtook her. She had lost her beautiful diamond ring in the water and couldn’t find it.
“I had reached down to get sand off my leg in the water, in about chest-deep water,” Kennedy, told ABC News. “When I got the sand off my legs, it was in between in my fingers and in my ring. I pushed up with my thumb to get it out and I must’ve pushed up hard and I lost it.”
Kennedy attributed the cool temperatures of Lake Michigan–in the lower 60s this time of year–with shrinking her fingers and allowing the ring to easily slip off when she was removing the sand. Though Kennedy and family members attempted to find the item, the larger waves that day made the hunt impossible.
“I tried to catch it while it was falling,” she said. “I told my friend and we both started looking immediately with our feet and hands. Our 10-year-old boys had goggles and we searched and searched and searched for about 45 minutes.” But the ring was lost and she had to leave the lake without it.
Desperate to get her wedding ring back, she took to Facebook that evening and with little hope left, she posted a close-up image of the ring and shared her story in the hopes that some lucky stranger may find it and return it.
“Feeling beyond sad, sick, and disappointed that I lost my wedding ring IN Lake Michigan today,” she wrote. “I don’t usually believe in miracles but if anyone sees any posts on Facebook or hears anything about found rings in South Haven let me know.” She even included a map in the comments of the Facebook post to help willing ring-seekers search in the right spot.
With over 2,400 shares it wasn’t long before Kennedy’s post caught the eye of John Dudley. The president of the West Michigan Detector Club, Dudley was prompt in reaching out to the owner of the lost ring and gathered his metal detector and a few friends to go out searching on Sunday, July 24.
“She lost it on Friday and I didn’t go out until Sunday. So it was two days later, which makes it even more bizarre,” Dudley told ABC News. “The waves were terrible. I’m a pretty good-sized guy and the waves were knocking me over. But 30 to 45 minutes later I got a good signal in the water about waist deep. I scooped up whatever the signal was and there was a ring in the bottom. I went, ‘Oh my gosh.’”
“When I turned the ring over I knew it was hers because she had shown me a few pictures,” he added. With Kennedy waiting impatiently, hopefully on the beach Dudley said, “I gave a thumbs up to her and she just came running out to the water. I gave her ring back and she just started bawling and gave me a great big hug.”
Just 48 hours after Kennedy had lost her wedding ring in Lake Michigan it was returned to her by a lucky stranger who is now considered a close friend.
“I seriously think my heart skipped a beat,” Kennedy told ABC News. “I jumped up and ran out there. When he first gave me a thumbs up I thought maybe had detected something, and then after he held my ring up I just ran. He said I practically walked on water to get out to him. I instantly I started bawling of course.”
Sharing the good news with her friends and followers, Kennedy posted photos of her standing next to Dudley professing “Miracles do happen!” Offering her gratitude to Dudley and everyone else who shared her post and searched the lake she added, “I feel like I’m in a dream right now. It doesn’t even feel real! Wow! Thank you from the bottom of my heart John! And to everyone else who searched… Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
Dudley too took to the social media site to share his triumph upon finding Kennedy’s wedding ring in the depths of Lake Michigan.
“Finding Jamie Kennedy’s ring & returning it was a fun experience. I’m so glad for her family. I made a new friend,” he captioned an image of his metal detecting gear on Thursday, July 28. “I didn’t do it for the money or fame… I did it because it’s the right thing to do. I got my ‘reward’ when I saw her tears of happiness. Let’s get out there and do something nice for someone today.”
Dudley, who shared with ABC News that he usually finds coins and bits of garbage while metal detecting said finding the ring after two days “was pretty huge actually.” He confessed, “you find jewelry on occasion in the water…but when you know something is there and you can find it and return it, it’s like bowling a 300 game. I think this is the best by far.”
“Miracles can happen and there’s still nice people in the world,” the joyful Kennedy told ABC News. “It’s just amazing to know there’s so many good people still out there.”