This is a story that starts with two rings lost on a beach and ends two weeks later with a stranger’s eye caught by a shimmer in the sand by the water’s edge.
Two weeks ago, surrounded by a dozen people on their hands and knees trying to help her, newlywed Carly Booth spent hours desperately trying to find her wedding and engagement rings on a beach in Margate.
Don Spivack, 74, who owns a second home in Margate, remembered that scene well because his two daughters and wife were part of the search crew. Even though the Spivacks had never met Booth before, they, like the other strangers who helped look for the ring, felt bad for Booth.
Carly’s husband, Margate lifeguard Mike Booth, said the two had recently returned from their honeymoon. As Carly Booth sat on the beach July 6 to apply sunscreen, she removed her wedding and engagement rings and placed them on her lap. When she stood up to go somewhere else, she forgot the rings on her lap.
About two hours later, she realized the mistake and retraced her steps. But by then, the spot had been taken over by a group of children digging in the sand, Mike Booth said.
That’s when the desperate search began. The looking and digging for the rings got to a point where crowds began forming and people started noticing.
“They dug a hole the size of a Volkswagen,” said bystander Jonathan Lipner, 59, of Philadelphia. “It was so deep this guy’s wife was in the hole and you couldn’t see her.”
While the search party gave up after hours of looking, Mike Booth said he and his wife remained distraught over losing the rings — particularly because the engagement ring represented several paychecks’ worth of savings.
Every day prior to the start of his shift, Booth spent time looking for the rings. They even brought in metal detectors but found no luck.
That changed on Sunday. Spivack was standing by the water’s edge when he felt something by his toe that also shimmered in the light.
“I was standing at the water and talking to my wife and her friends and the ring hit my toe,” he said. “I saw something sparkling and I picked it up right away.”
Spivack said he immediately knew the ring most likely belonged to the wife of the lifeguard whom his family had tried to help a couple of weeks earlier. He approached the lifeguard stand to ask. Mike Booth also happened to be working.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Booth said of the found ring. “The wedding band is still missing but certainly if I had to find one, I’m glad we found the engagement ring.”
Spivack, a former widower, was no stranger to lost rings. In 1960, his first wife had given him her diamond ring for safekeeping in his pocket. He didn’t know at the time there was a hole in his pocket through which the ring fell. They never found that ring.
Booth said he sent his wife, who works nights, a text message with a photo of the ring.
“She’s going to wake up to a happy picture,” he said. “I thought it was gone for good and I’m just happy and thankful that someone’s honest with that.”
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