James Ellis from Olney in Buckinghamshire was enjoying a family holiday with his wife and two daughters when he lost the palladium ring.
“I was at the beach bodyboarding with my eldest daughter on Saturday afternoon,” he told North Norfolk News.
“It was only a few hours later when we were having dinner at the King’s Head pub I that I realised didn’t have the ring. It was a panicky moment because I never take it off,” he said.
The 42-year-old searched “high and low” for the precious piece of jewellery, before admitting defeat and returning home to Buckinghamshire the following day.
In a last ditch effort to find the object, he posted an appeal on some local Facebook groups in the seaside town of Cromer where he lost his ring.
In an effort to whittle down the search area, he had the “bright idea” of sharing his route from the Strava fitness app on his phone, so that people could see his exact location on a map.
Incredibly, Steve Everitt got in touch less than 24 hours later to confirm that he had found the ring in minutes using his metal detector and the data Ellis shared from his fitness tracker.
Everitt, 56, said: “It was only a couple of inches down, but when something gets in that soft sand, unless you know exactly where you dropped it, it’s a nightmare to find.”
Ellis described feeling “really grateful and speechless” when Everitt messaged him to say he had found his ring.
“It gives you belief in people’s kindness and the community spirit that exists. The fact that he went out of his way to search for it and then found it, it’s unbelievable really,” he said.
Ellis said that the semi-retired fisherman refused a reward, but that he did ask him to cover the £2.77 postage costs to send his ring back to him. Ellis also donated £50 to Macmillan Cancer Support, one of Everitt’s favourite charities.
Everitt bought his first metal detector at the age of 14 and has found various valuables over the years, such as car keys and even someone else’s lost wedding ring in 2019.
“It was a good job that James had posted the map picture of where he had been on the beach,” he added. “It meant I could go to exactly the right spot. After about three sweeps, I had it in my hands within five or six minutes.”