Searching a child day care centre playground for sharps

An Adelaide day care centre phoned to see if I could check their play areas for sharps and metal junk after some contractors worked on improvements. Over 2 days I spent about 4 1/2 hours working my way through the bark chips and found quite the collection or interesting bits and pieces.

detecting for sharps
Result from 4 1/2 hours making a play area safer






nails and razor blade
Razor blade and nails found in a day care playground






flashing, nails and sharps
more sharps from the playground bark chips






razor blade, nails and junk
Closer view of some sharps including a razor blade







Nails and tec screws seem to be a favourite for tradies to drop in the bark chips but my personal favourite find must be the razor blade. I am really grateful that I was given the opportunity to run this search and it feels wonderful knowing the kids are going to have a safer time.

Something different from the usual ring search and worth doing …

Finding Zsófia’s ring at Henley Beach

I was just settling into a quiet evening at home last night when Henley Beach Surf Club phoned around 7.30 asking if I could possibly help a couple near the jetty.
Turned out Zsófia had lost her ring 20 or 30 metres out in chest high water and was very concerned about the bad weather due later.
I grabbed some water proof detecting gear and headed down there to see if I could help.
Once I finally got down to Henley from Hillcrest I found Zsófia and headed out to where her husband Danka was trying to dive down and find the ring, dropped a marker in the water at roughly where they thought the ring was and started work.
I searched about 15m north/ south and about the same east/ west but unfortunately didn’t find the ring before nightfall. The tides looked fairly good for Friday afternoon so I suggested I head back there around midday and try again with the ring possibly out of the water or maybe just in shallow water.

So today I headed back to Henley Beach about 40 minutes before low tide and worked the area again which was in shallow water and worked back up the beach a bit into only shin deep water when I was rewarded with a loud (so shallow) mid tone (where I would expect gold to be) and was able to just lean down and pull the ring out from about 2″ under the sand. I was only searching for 15 minutes or so after sticking a plastic bag over my dry non-waterproof gear in some serious rain.
I wasn’t sure it was the right ring so sent a pic to Zsófia and received an elated and relieved phone call back 🙂 It has now been picked up and is back where it belongs 🙂

Sophia's Wedding RIng
Sophia’s ring back with her
Ring and metal detector
Sophia’s ring and the Minelab Sovereign GT
Sophia's ring and the Coiltek WOT used to find it
Sophia’s ring and the Coiltek WOT used to find it















Gear used was a Tesoro Sand Shark last night in the water and the Sovereign GT and big coil today.

Finding David’s lost white gold wedding ring

On Christmas Eve Alicia and David walked to a local soccer pitch enjoying some nice Adelaide summer weather. At some stage during the walk David lost his white gold wedding ring and they were unable to find it. A few days later Alica contacted me via facebook and we worked out a time to catch up for a search that evening.

We met up at the Athelstone Soccer Oval and had a chat to work out where the ring could be and I went to work checking the larger areas with a Minelab Sovereign GT, then changing to a Tesoro Tejon near some fencing and finally an old tesoro I keep around with a 4″ hockey puck coil to get right next to metal objects like the fence and playground equipment at the park.

I searched some parts of the oval, then the playground but unfortunately I failed to find it during the 1hr we had and headed home after mentioning that I would probably come back one day to try again.

During the week I asked Alicia if David could draw me a bit of a map in case I went back so I could narrow down the search area a bit and this came back.

David's map
David’s map









The following day I decided to go back with this new information to try again. I searched the oval first with 3 passes up and down the path he probably walked, lots of checking at the gates and fence and then after no success I headed to the playground

Phone data of the second search







I swapped the Sovereign GT for a Tesoro in the playground and searched in and out of the playground equipment and around the edge until I finally found it snug up against a metal pole. Not being completely sure it was the right one I send a message to Alicia and kept searching for about another 20 minutes until I had exhausted what I could in the playground and went home.

It turned out it was the right ring so Alicia and David met up with me again and it is now where it belongs.


Happy new year and a white gold ring trifecta

Happy New Year everyone and best wishes for a loss free 2017.

2016 ended a little disappointingly for me with a search for 3 rings on Friday at Somerton Park. Unfortunately the rings probably ended up somewhere in the surf zone a few days after that big storm stripped sand from the beach. The combination of pounding waves and the beach re-filling with sand after the storm meant that the rings were going to be deep and difficult to track down.

After learning a bit about how they were lost I methodically checked a roughly tennis court sized area gridding north/ south and east/ west. After a couple of hours I picked up a whisper of a signal near the water and dug out one ring at around 12″ deep. So 1/3 and pushing towards impossibly deep.

After another hour I gave up, having not received any worthwhile signals. We had a chat about the best way forward and decided to leave it for some better weather and/ or less sand and headed home.

Saturday was another adventure trying to find a new Apple watch lost in the Murray. After about 10′ deep the water was pitch black and after only about 20 minutes dive time I pulled the pin on the search as too dangerous, too small chance of success and the location a little too ambiguous given the conditions. Signals were everywhere with all the fishing sinkers, metal rubbish etc next to a boat ramp so I had to manually check each signal by hand at up to 15′ in sightless conditions. Just too hard.

So, today I received a call from Tony that the sand/ weather back at Somerton Park was more favourable and it might be worth catching up again for another look. I tuned the Minelab Sovereign GT with every possible setting to get a little extra depth and searched extremely slowly near where the first ring was found. Ring pull, ring pull, … and so on then the slightest change in threshold (background hum) on the detector, not a beep, just a tiny change of note. I decided to dig it and pulled the wedding band out from somewhere around 14″ down- crazy. So 2/2 rings.

Having found the 2 rings now reasonably close to each other I doubled down and did what I could to drag every bit of performance out of the detector and myself. Eventually I nearly missed an even slighter signal, not even a whisper, just a hint of a nulling of the tone. I normally would not have dug this signal but did this time due to it being fairly close to where I found the second ring. Dig, dig, dig, dig … 10″, 11, 12, 13, somewhere near 15″. I kept losing that tiny signal and re-finding it. Eventually I scooped up that 3rd ring at a ridiculous depth thanks to the incredible Sov GT and 15″ Coiltek Manufacturing WOT coil.

I have a feeling the ring owners had given up on them a bit so I couldn’t be happier to return those 3 rings back to Kim. A real challenge pushing machine and me to absolute limits with a lot of luck and the sea/ weather cutting me a bit of slack. Great feeling.

white gold rings
Kim’s rings back where they belong

Quick find of a lost white gold ring in Lockleys, Adelaide

Jenn's wedding band

Jenn contacted me via Facebook after her husband’s white gold ring was lost in the back yard. The job turned out to be a bit of a challenge as the grass was on top of wire mesh presumably to stop rabbits borrowing or similar. Fortunately Jenn’s 4yr old son Christian is a gun metal detector operator and was able to show me the ropes finding a fortune in coins.

After a very relaxing 5 minutes accompanied by some friendly fish I found the ring hiding deep in some grass next to a trampoline post.

An absolute privilege to help Jenn out and get that ring back where it belongs. Oh and Christian, you are a legend …

Jenn's wedding band

Windsor gardens search for a lost white gold wedding band

Elena called me late this afternoon after finding my well hidden ad on Gumtree (I need to fix that). Anyway, it turned out George had lost his ring along a street and asked if I could take a look. The job was just around the corner so I packed the car and headed out and was there within 20min or so.

The ring was likely to be on either side of the road, so I spent maybe an hour searching one side then concentrated on the stretch along the other side of the road. Nothing too tricky about it and it was just a matter of time before it turned up under some leaves and bark at the base of a bush.

The only real issue with this one was lots of bottle tops and pull tabs along the road verge, but I was pretty confident of eventually getting the coil over it.

Gear was Minelab Sovereign GT with the smallest coil I have for it (to work in the metal junk) and the ever reliable Garrett Pro-pointer. A nice result and a great big chunk of ring back on George’s finger.


White gold ring recovered for Trish at Semaphore, South Australia

Trish phoned up this morning after losing her ring swimming yesterday afternoon in Semaphore a popular beach location west of Adelaide. I caught up with her husband Jim today at low tide and we worked out the best search area and how far down the beach it was likely to be.

I started about 5m out of the search area and worked my way down to the water searching about 20m lines each way. After several bottle tops, a pull tab, some junk jewellery and a few coins I picked up that nice rounded, mellow gold sound with a big target just below the surface. I only had to reach in about 1″ of sand and there it was.

A quick wash in the water to remove the sand and it was back with Jim just as Trish turned up to see how we were going. Huge smiles everywhere and a hug from Trish for another successful search at Semaphore.

white gold ring








After that I popped down south for another ring, but unfortunately they couldn’t get down there to give me a rough location so will put that one off for another day.

White Gold Engagement Ring Lost and Found in West Beach, Adelaide

A heartbroken Tania phoned me at 3:30 on Australia day after losing her white gold engagement ring at West Beach. The poor thing was distraught and very concerned that the ring was lost forever.

We caught up at the car park at around 4:15 and walked down to the frantically scratched up sand where 2 hours of unsuccessful physical searching had failed to find the ring.

Tania pointed out the rough search area and a few other places it could have landed, and I went to work with the Minelab Sovereign GT. Only a bottle top on the first search grid line, then a great sounding signal on the return grid line. A quick pinpoint with the trusty Garrett Pro-pointer later and I just used my fingers to dig into the soft sand and pull out the really nice engagement ring 🙂

So by 4:30 Tania had the ring back on her finger and the biggest smile I have ever seen. A great result, and less than an hour from phone call to find.

Her quote “Best $75 I have ever spent”

Tania with her engagement ring
Returned ring and huge smile

Necklace at Henley Beach

For a sunny day today was very quiet then the phone rang with a dropped necklace just north of Henley Jetty. I let dinner go cold and headed down there ASAP. They were quite surprised to see me 30 minutes or so after the call and explained what happened.

He lost it while flicking the towel at the end of the beach session. Fortunately he took a photo of the rocks up on the break water so we had a reasonable idea where he was. The search area ended up being only 20m by about 30m.

lent I started at the wet sand knowing that he wouldn’t have laid in the damp and gridded my way up towards the rocks. I picked up 3 dodgy signals (too deep) and after about 15 minutes detected a nice low (expected) tone on the Sovereign GT.

I had my little wand like Pro Pointer on me, so turned it on and prodded the ground to get a nice strong reaction. Obviously there was something only a couple of inches under the surface of the sand

I just reached over, raked the sand with my fingers and pulled the really nice necklace out of the sand, held it up to show him and was greeted with a massive, relieved smile 🙂

I was even offered a hug

I LOVE this job:)

A little detective work finds the ring without a metal detector

Turned up to a nice house up on Mt Osmond at 5pm today to find a lost wedding band. Introduced myself and had a quick chat for a couple of minutes.

Then at around 5.03 I asked all the heavy questions about what he was doing at the time, where he had been, what was he wearing, is there a chance it is in the car, bin, house, and all that logistic stuff …

5.07 He mentions that he did pick a few bundles of weeds up and moved them around …

I ask if he was wearing gloves ….

5.08 he gets a glint in his eye, walks around side of the house, finds the gloves and pulls the ring out.

All done in 8 minutes without turning using the detector at all