A U.K. metal detectorist has worked a near-miracle, reuniting a woman with a beloved chain that held her late mother’s promise, engagement and wedding rings.
The 24-year-old was “devastated” when her necklace chain broke while she was swimming at Les Amarreurs beach in Guernsey last month.
On the chain hung three of her mom’s rings which always made her “feel close” to her late parent.
Not giving up hope, Tessa Le Gallez telephoned a local metal detectorist Matthew Kneebone and asked if he could possibly help her get the heirlooms back.
“My mum passed away in April and it was her wish that I had her rings,” recalls the office manager.
“I put it on a strong chain around my neck because sometimes in the cold your fingers shrink and you can lose your rings.
“I went swimming and by complete freak accident, my dog jumped on me and his claw got caught in the chain. It took all of his weight and snapped.
She searched for hours but couldn’t find them.
“I was panicking and worried I would never see them again. They’re so precious to me. That’s when I called Matthew and asked for help.”
Mr. Kneebone, a stonemason on the rocky island in the English Channel, told her he would be able to find the lost rings when there was a spring tide again.
Sure enough, two weeks later, on September 1, Matthew and Tessa headed back down to the beach—and within ten minutes, Matthew had found the chain. Then, amazingly, within a half hour, all of three of heirlooms were uncovered.
Tessa was elated. “It was such a relief. Those rings mean the world to me and they’re incredibly sentimental.”
The 50-year-old who has been metal detecting since he was 14, said: “Tessa was very grateful and so emotional. She ran up to me and gave me a big hug.
“I’ll never be able to thank him enough and I’ll always be grateful. He’s the most selfless man I’ve ever met in my life and people like him make the world a better place.”
The benefits go both ways, says Matthew. “It’s a really good feeling when you manage to find something for someone.”
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