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Prized ring sparks a search

RESCUE team Kendall Pryor and Michael and Danielle Dean, with Yamba’s Lisa Westerman with her precious ring.
RESCUE team Kendall Pryor and Michael and Danielle Dean, with Yamba’s Lisa Westerman with her precious ring.

GOOD old-fashioned Aussie ingenuity hasn't been lost to the younger generation.

Last Friday night, Yamba friends came to the rescue to retrieve a special ring which had fallen through the bottom deck of the Yamba Shores Tavern and into the Clarence River.

The friends were with Tash Lovell, a local who was visiting from Sydney and the conversation turned to engagements.

Tash said her mother, Yamba woman Lisa Westerman, had just had her engagement, wedding and eternity rings remodelled into one.

Ms Westerman sat with them and took the ring off to show everyone, and you guessed it, she dropped it.

"I took the ring off and the next minute all I could see was it rolling between the cracks and then it was gone. I was in disbelief," Ms Westerman said.

"It was like a slow motion silent movie; how was I going to tell my husband our 10th anniversary ring was now bling for the mullet under the Yamba Shores Pontoon?"

Michael Dean, his sister Danielle and Kendall Pryor rang emergency services to see if they had an underwater torch they could borrow in their search for the ring but no one was answering.

Mission impossible took on new meaning when the friends decided to wrap a LED torch with cling film and masking tape while Kendall got dressed in his wetsuit, flippers and snorkel ready for the descent into the Clarence River ...by then, around 10pm.

The intrepid salvage team, with the help of a mobile phone cord as a location finder, started. The light from the torch gave a beam about half a metre in front and Kendall soon found forks, beer glasses and a rock ledge with oysters.

"I was about two-and-a-half metres down in the water when I saw it sitting on a ledge between the oysters. I couldn't believe my luck and grabbed it and swam straight to the surface with it.

"Another couple of centimetres, it would have gone to the river floor where we would never have found it," Kendall said.

"You have no idea what a happy woman I was to have my ring back; I screamed and cried and was in disbelief and gave Kendall the biggest hug ... wet and all, I didn't care," Ms Westerman said.

Topics:  lisa westerman, missing ring, tash lovell, yamba shores tavern


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