Published: 14:02, 10 June 2021
| Updated: 15:07, 10 June 2021
A metal detectorist who helped find a heartbroken mum’s lost wedding rings has been hailed a hero for his efforts.
Helene Gentry was on Leysdown beach when she unknowingly lost her wedding, engagement and eternity rings in the sand.
Originally from Oxfordshire she was on the Isle of Sheppey visiting family with her son Enzo and husband Adam when they headed to the coast at around 8.30am last Wednesday to make some sandcastles.
She had taken her rings off and put them on a towel before helping her son, but admitted in the rush of things forget they were there.
Around an hour later the family packed up, accidentally flinging the jewellery when they shook the towels off and headed back where they were staying on the Island.
It was not until 40 minutes after they’d left Helene realised what had happened and headed back to look for the jewellery, which was a precious reminder of her daughter Lorna who died six years ago.
She said: “It was even more upsetting as she loved the rings and would hold and touch them, so everything we lose like that is like losing a memory of her.
“We went back to the beach and there were people in our spot but they were really sweet once we explained and even helped us look but there was no chance of finding it on our own because of all the sand and shells.”
The determined mum took to social media to ask if anyone knew of any metal detecting groups in the area who might be able to lend a hand when Chris Papworth from the Kent and Medway Metal Detecting Group replied “almost instantly” offering to help.
Chris, of Holly Blue Drive, Iwade, met the family at the Leysdown beach and managed to retrieve all three of Helene’s rings within 10 minutes.
The 48-year-old revealed it was his second ring rescue of the day.
Helene was nothing but thankful to him for helping her hold on to her memories of her daughter.
She said: “It goes to show the nice side of humanity and how nice people can be. I’m thankful to him and everyone who helped us search.
“I was so relieved when he pulled them out. I’d never want to lose anything and these were such personal items with a lot of memories attached to them.”