Diver Scours California River to Reunite Man with ‘Valuable, Precious’ Ring Worth $17K

A California diver who goes by the name “Merman Mike” was recently able to create some major magic after he tracked down a valuable ring that had sunk to the bottom of a river.

Mike Pelley enjoys heading out into local lakes and rivers and diving deep down in the water to hunt for valuables that he then returns to their rightful owners, according to his Facebook page.

One of his latest finds was a ring dropped into the Sacramento River by Bill Fetty — a piece worth $17,000 that also had sentimental value, as it was a gift from his late brother.

“We’re trying to find a valuable, precious ring that was given to me from my brother [who has] passed away,” Fetty said in a YouTube video chronicling Pelley’s dive. “We just need that ring back today, man, and we came to the Mermaid Man to see if he could come through for us.”

Pelley said he typically avoids the Sacramento River as it has an extremely strong current, but took on Fetty’s request because the man knew exactly where he’d dropped the ring, and it was close to shore.

With a video camera documenting the entire adventure, Pelley dove beneath the surface and began his hunt.

Though he was initially unsuccessful, a trip back to the surface to consult with his girlfriend resulted in a new plan, in which he dropped an anchor into the sand to help act as a marker to keep him on track.


The plan worked, and soon, Pelley’s metal detector lit up, alerting him that he’d finally tracked down the missing ring, which was entirely covered in sand.

Once he got back on land, Pelley FaceTimed Fetty, who was overjoyed by the good news and who came by to pick it up in person while wearing a necklace that matched the ring.

“I’m like, getting choked up talking about it. Doing this has brought back the good in humanity in me because everyone I talk to is always so grateful and happy,” Pelley told KOVR.

To express his gratitude, Fetty even gave Pelley $1,500 so he could buy a new and improved metal detector and continue paying it forward.

Pelley told KOVR he plans to use his upgraded device to search for two wedding rings he wasn’t able to find before.

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