When Neil Sneddon, a trainee technician, was pulling a boat into Aberdour Harbour in Fife, Scotland, on May 7, 2023, the unthinkable happened: His white gold wedding band slipped off of his finger. According to Daily Mail, Sneddon spent three hours desperately searching for the sentimental item, but he had no luck finding it. Instead of throwing in the towel, Sneddon called one of his friends from school, Scott Spence, to help him search. “Neil phoned me in a bit of a panic, asking if I could give him a hand,” Scott recounts to the outlet. “We agreed that it would have to wait ’til the tide went back out, and I went down with my daughter.”
In 2012, Scott’s wife, Maria Spence, lost her own wedding ring on the beach while they were enjoying their honeymoon in Corsica, the publication reports. In an attempt to find the sparkler, Scott bought a toy metal detector. The couple never retrieved the missing jewel, so they stashed the toy in their garage. Once the couple welcomed their daughter, Katie Spence, their little girl often played with the metal detector while walking around the garden as a toddler. Nearly a decade later, the toy came in handy. “I phoned Scott because I knew he had a metal detector,” Sneddon says.
On Sunday, Scott and now-six-year-old Katie arrived at the harbor with the toy metal detector. “When the tide went out, we spent quite a long time looking for Neils’ ring,” Scott reflects. According to Sneddon, they spent about one-and-a-half hours searching for the item. “And just when we were about to pack up, Katie started shouting, ‘It’s beeping! It’s beeping!’” Scott says. Scott went over to where Katie was standing and realized that his friend’s ring was hidden under a pile of seaweed. “The tide had gone out and moved it,” Scott explains. “I thought it was a needle in a haystack.”
Scott admitted that he never thought he and his daughter would be capable of finding Sneddon’s wedding band. “When Neil phoned me and asked me to get Katie down with the detector, I thought it was a really slim chance of finding it,” he shares. “She’s a wee hero.” After retrieving the ring, Katie was given a cash reward. According to Daily Mail, the little girl was so happy that she did a dance on the beach. Sneddon was also in shock that he found his missing piece of jewelry. “It was a great moment,” he concludes. “I couldn’t believe it.”
This isn’t the first time a couple has miraculously found a long-lost ring. In September 2021, Joanna Vink’s antique engagement ring fell into the Parramatta River in Sydney, Australia while she was reapplying sunscreen on her family’s boat, according to Yahoo! News Australia. Joanna and her husband, Michael Vink, arranged three professional search missions to help find the ring. After hours of endless digging, they still didn’t come across the lost gemstone. A year and a half later, Nick Richards, a metal detecting scuba diver, volunteered to recover the item. After swimming through the river for six hours with little visibility, he found the sparkler. “I was surprised not to have had it in the first place,” Joanna admitted. “I wasn't even aware for 18 months I had been going down to the boat and sort of quashing down this lonely sense of sadness. I’m so delighted to have it back.”