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Canterbury man's joy as ring found on Herne Bay beach

The owner of a hugely sentimental gold ring says he is overjoyed after a metal detectorist came to his aid when he lost it on the beach.

James Carter, 26, was heartbroken when the ring, which was left to him after his dad was killed in a car crash in Sturry six years ago, went missing from his rucksack during a trip to the seaside.

James Carter
James Carter

The former Simon Langton pupil says it is the most-treasured memento of his dad, Edward Carter.

“When he died he was wearing three rings and me and my two brothers had one each,” he said.

“It really is the most precious thing I own and I keep it on a chain and wear it all the time.

“I am usually so careful with it and am still not quite sure how it got lost.”

James, a software engineer who grew up in Herne Bay, was on the town’s beach with a friend and his girlfriend last week.

Metal detectorist Kevin Mankelow
Metal detectorist Kevin Mankelow

He says he tucked the jewellery into a beanie hat in his rucksack where he thought it would be safe.

After sunbathing and swimming, the group decided to leave.

“I just assumed it would still be in my bag but when we got back to the car and checked, it was gone," he remembered.

“I just felt sick and we dashed back to the beach and searched on our hands and knees for ages.”

Eventually, they left and James says he was resigned to never seeing it again.

James Carter is delighted to get his ring back
James Carter is delighted to get his ring back

“I was in a right state about it but my friend Sam, who lives in Herne Bay, suggested posting something on the Herne Bay Chatter Facebook page calling out for help from a metal detectorist," he continued.

“To be honest, I wasn’t hopeful but this guy responded and said he would go down the following morning as the tide was out and check.”

It was 60-year-old dad and metal detector hobbyist Kevin Mankelow, from Swalecliffe, who answered the call.

Using a Google map sent to him by Sam, he was able to target the most likely area of the beach. And after only around five minutes of searching, he discovered it a few inches under the pebbles.

'I won't let it leave my sight again'

Kevin says he is “over the moon” for James.

“It was lucky it wasn’t dragged far out by the tides,” he said. “It gave me great pleasure to send him a photo of me holding it up.

“He wanted to give me a reward but I wasn’t having it. My reward was finding it because I know how much it means to him.”

James said: “I can’t thank Kevin enough. He’s a true gent. I have been on a rollercoaster of emotions from feeling so low to now being overjoyed and relieved.

“I really thought it had gone forever but it won’t leave my sight again.”

It is not the first time Kevin, who is land officer for the Medway History Finders group, has found a treasured ring on the beach.

Last year he answered a social media call from a woman who had lost her engagement ring on Whitstable beach.

He responded to a plea by Kim Rojas who showed him the spot and within 40 minutes he had found it.

Facebook users contact the Medway History Finders if they lose anything - from car keys to jewellery.

Kevin said: “If anyone loses anything, they tag me in it.”

For more quirky and unusual stories, click here.

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Read more: All the latest news from Herne Bay

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