A man in Maine beat all odds to find a precious stone he thought was lost forever.
About a month ago, Erin Helfen lost her engagement ring while hiking with her fiancé, Evan Nadeau, in the Gulf Hagas mountains, WFVX reported.
The couple was swimming in the Buttermilk Falls when they had Nadeau’s brother take a photo of them. They didn’t notice the ring was missing until about 10 minutes later, when they were hiking up a trail about a quarter mile away, Nadeau said.
“I fidgeted, and I looked down and I was like, ‘Oh my God it’s not there,'” Helfen said.
Helfen said she felt “terrible and “didn’t know what to do.”
“I assumed we wouldn’t be getting it back, because who thinks they can just go in the water and get it back,” she said.
— WFVX WVII News (@FoxABCMaine) July 25, 2017
Despite the devastating turn of events, Nadeau decided he wasn’t accept the loss just yet.
“It was a ring. It’s okay,” he said. “But, I wasn’t going to give up on it just then.”
Nadeau decided to make good use of his day off from nursing at the Eastern Maine Medical Center to search for the ring he gave his soon-to-be-wife. He borrowed a friend’s scuba gear and spent more than two hours searching for it.
Just as he was about to call it quits, Nadeau saw something shiny wedged under a big rock.
The band was wedged under a big rock,” he said. “Those little prongs right around the diamond just jammed, and I thought to myself, you’ve got to be kidding me.”
Nadeau could hardly believe that weeks after the ring sank to the bottom of the river, he had retrieved it.
“I think somebody was watching out for me that day because there’s no way I should have found it,” Nadeau said.
Nadeau then raced home to tell Helfen the good news. After first, he quipped that he had “swam a lot” and got “tired,” she said.
“And he said, ‘You know, one thing I don’t get tired of is proposing to you,’ and he whips out the ring…” Helfen said.
A memory that may have haunted the couple forever turned into a story they’d one day tell their grandchildren.
“You’ve got to believe sometimes, even though it’s small chances,” Nadeau said.
On Facebook, Nadeau joked that he felt like Gollum from “The Lord of the Rings” when he found it.
The couple’s most recent test of adversity made their bond even stronger, they said.
“It’s definitely something we’ll never forget, and it makes me feel like we’re meant to be,” Helfen said.