Jen McGowan, 26 from Port Logan, Dumfries & Galloway thought she’d never see her engagement ring again…
Walking my fiancé Ed’s family dogs Rowan and Barley along the beach, I glanced down at my left hand.
On my ring finger gleamed a stunning, sparkling gem.
It was last October, and Ed, 31, had popped the question the day before on the same beach.
We’d met three years ago and he’d truly outdone himself with my sparkler.
It was bespoke – he’d designed it himself with the help of my best friend Lauren, 27, and it must’ve cost him a fortune.
A lot of thought and effort had gone into that ring.
‘I’m never taking this off,’ I’d told Ed, absolutely thrilled.
Now, as I walked along the water’s edge, I couldn’t stop admiring it.
The dogs were having fun running in and out of the sea. But as I threw them a stick, I felt something fly off my finger.
My engagement ring!
It was like slow motion as my diamond ring flew through the air and splashed into the sea.
‘No!’ I screamed, racing into the waves after it.
Knee deep in the water, I scrambled around, desperately searching for it. But 20 minutes later…still nothing.
This can’t be happening!
I panicked, tears pricking.
A few neighbours spotted me and ran home to fetch Ed.
‘I’m so sorry,’ I sobbed as he arrived. ‘It just flew off.’
The weather was bitter, so my fingers must’ve shrunk with the cold.
‘It doesn’t matter,’ Ed said, comforting me. ‘Just get out of the water.’
By now, my body was numb and blue with the cold, but I wouldn’t budge.
So Ed waded in to help me in my desperate search.
Although another 20 minutes on, we were both so cold that we had no choice but to stop.
By now, the tide was beginning to go out, too, probably taking my ring with it.
Back home, distraught, I posted a desperate message on Facebook.
I’ve lost my ring in the sea and I’m desperate to find it, I said.
Amazingly, the next day, a crowd turned up at the beach with their metal detectors.
‘Thank you so much,’ I told them all.
But, despite everyone’s help, that evening the ring still hadn’t been recovered.
‘The sea’s probably swept it halfway to China by now!’ I cried, giving up hope.
But one man was determined to help me
Norman Delafield, 70, who lives locally, volunteered again to try to see if he could find it.
I was overwhelmed by his generous offer.
‘I’ll do my best,’ he promised me the following day, armed with his metal detector.
But, because my ring was made from palladium – a rare, silvery-white metal – he explained it’d be harder for the detector to pick up.
Two hours passed, and I went home to make him a cuppa.
Then, suddenly, there was a knock at the door.
‘I believe this belongs to you,’ Norman grinned, holding out my ring.
I simply couldn’t believe my eyes
‘You’re an absolute hero!’ I squealed with joy.
‘It was lurking under the sand on the seabed,’ Norman told me.
I was so grateful, I couldn’t stop crying.
Now Ed and I are planning our wedding for next August.
Of course, we’ve invited Norman as our guest of honour.
I still can’t believe I’ve got my ring back. I was convinced that it was gone forever.
The word ‘lucky’ doesn’t even come close to how I feel!