Scuba Diver Finds Woman’s $9,500 Wedding Ring Beneath California Lake and Returns It

By: Ene Ayegba | Last updated: Oct 21, 2023

At beautiful Bass Lake in Madera County, California, a woman experienced a heart-wrenching moment when she realized her precious wedding ring (worth $9,500) had slipped off her finger and disappeared beneath the glistening waters. The sentimental value attached to the ring made the loss even more devastating.

Michael Pelley, a scuba diver known as “Merman Mike,” took it upon himself to lend a helping hand to the distraught woman.

The Treasure Sinks to the Bottom of the Lake

On July 10, Jennie, who lives in Bakersfield, California, shared a video explaining what happened to her wedding ring—she and her family were swimming together at Bass Lake when her ring slipped off and was lost. 


Source: The Boston Globe

The woman was distressed at the thought of losing something so valuable. She learned of Pelley from friend who told her about a scuba diver who could help find the ring.


A Challenging Rescue Mission

Pelly uploaded a video on his YouTube channel detailing his rescue mission. In the video, Pelley mentioned that Bass Lake was 45 feet deep and manmade, characteristics that made his search for the lost ring quite challenging. 


Source: Merman Mike/YouTube

“Almost immediately after I reached the bottom of the lake, I realized how difficult the search was going to be. The silt had immediately clouded out the area, and I was in almost zero visibility,” he said.

Taking Extra Precautions to Ensure Success

Pelley explained that he had to be extra careful because the lake was very deep. He went in using an underwater metal detector and a bright flashlight. He also took off his gloves to aid him in searching the lake’s bottom.


Source: Merman Mike/Instagram

“After pulling a couple of sticks and cans out of the thick silt, I finally pulled out what I thought was going to be another bottle top or pull tab, but instead, I was looking at a giant diamond! It was the wedding ring! I was beyond excited, especially because I knew how slim the odds of me actually finding it were,” he wrote.

Expressing Her Gratitude

The moment of reunion between the woman and her wedding ring was an emotional one filled with heartfelt gratitude. 


Source: Merman Mike/YouTube

“I find people are beyond kind with their tips, and it all makes it worthwhile,” Pelley said. “This is also why I love doing this and why I have absolutely no problem not charging people for it. I feel like I have this huge book of just awesome stories,” he added.