September 04, 2013 - 11:30 AM
PRINCETON - A Maple Ridge man thought he would never find precious metals at the bottom of a lake and he's lucky he did—it was his lost wedding ring.
While vacationing with his family on Chain Lake last month, Rich Workman felt the loose ring slip off his finger while he was swimming. The family was staying at Workman's parents' cottage on Chain Lake off of Princeton-Summerland Road, about 35 kilometres north of Princeton.
As soon as the ring sank—23 feet to the silty bottom—Workman's mind started racing. He remembered his wife bugging him to get his ring resized so he wouldn't lose it. He doesn't like rings so he enjoyed how loose his wedding band felt.
"She's been right all this time," he says. He thought "'She's going to be furious.' I have two friends, both men, who both lost their (original) wedding rings. They tend to buy cheap wedding rings." They each lose a ring a year. His wife, however, wouldn't be so forgiving. "She's very connected to the original ring."
In the water that day, he was showing his neighbour's inflatable party island to the kids, holding the anchor rope when all of a sudden he felt his ring slip.
"I tried to make a fist and I went grasping for it and I just missed it."
He tried diving with nothing but a scuba mask but could only spend a few seconds at the bottom.
"We tried that a few times. We got quite silly at one point." He contemplated diving while breathing through a garden hose but opted not to attempt a scene from a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
Fifteen minutes after he lost the ring he confessed to his wife. "I was pretty upset. I told her my ring had slipped off my finger and she gave me a hug. It took the wind out of our sails."
But he didn't give up. Workman, 34, is a licensed diver and found Nautilus Diving in Penticton and had to call the shop's emergency number.
"They thought the story was pretty funny."
Back at the lake, Workman donned his scuba gear in front of a growing crowd. He says the water was so dark he crashed into the silty bottom when he descended. He worried he buried the ring then but kept on. He flashed his light to the right and saw the ring immediately.
"It was a pretty incredible feeling. I didn't believe it until I put the ring on my finger."
He came out of the water with a smile and his left hand raised to show his wife. She put her hands over her mouth in surprise. The crowd applauded.
And yes, he got the ring re-sized.
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