Paul Rodinsky is a modern-day treasure hunter, scouring the beaches of Florida for lost prized possessions. But he doesn’t always keep what he finds in the waters off of the Gulf Coast. He often works with hotels to return lost jewelry to its rightful owner. Just last week, he reunited a wedding band with a very ecstatic Marco Island, Florida, tourist who lost while it playing football with his son on the beach.
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“My reward is seeing the person getting it back,” he said. “My real reward is in Heaven.”
For 20 years, Rodinsky, who hopes to have his own reality show someday about his treasure-hunting adventures, has used a metal detector to look for trinkets, coins, and jewels. The Boones are not the first couple he’s helped reunite with cherished items.
“You don’t realize you shrink when you’re in the water, and you’re not paying attention,” Rodinsky said of the beachgoers who lose their valuables. “I go down there and find their jewelry.”
Rodinsky said he once helped a woman find her ring in just 20 minutes near Lowdermilk Beach Park in Naples, Florida. He wouldn’t accept any kind of reward from her; he was simply happy to make her happy again. He handed her his wife’s real estate card, saying, “When you’re ready to move to paradise, she might sell you a house.” Rodinsky said that a decade later, the woman called his wife, Pat, and bought a house.
Last year, according to WFTX-TV, he helped a bride find her brother-in-law’s wedding band, which he had lost in 4 feet of water. She said she was afraid the lost ring would dampen their week, so she approached Rodinsky while he was walking on the beach with his metal detector. He found the ring in about 45 minutes.
Kristen Sweitzer, who was visiting Florida from Pittsburgh last August, thought she had lost her engagement and wedding rings, valued at $10,000, in the surf. According to National Geographic, Rodinsky recovered her rings using his waterproof metal detector.
The treasure hunter added that he’s also found a few old coins from the 18th and 19th centuries, musket balls, military buttons, and, of course, diamond rings. But what's the greatest treasure he has found? “My wife,” he answered. They’ve been married for over 40 years.
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He explained he is always trying to improve his technique and keeps up on the latest metal detector innovations. The beachcomber said he walks along the beach edges up to his chest in water, listening to his metal detector and using his scoop to collect his finds from the ocean floor. “I get a hit and go for it, you know,” he explained. “The machines I use make different tones for different metals.” The various tones are how he tells the difference between a platinum ring and a bottle cap.
Rodinsky loves his hobby, which is actually his full-time job, because he can help people who are devastated by losing such personal, valuable items. “I can put it back the way it was, just like a doctor,” he said. “I really like it. It’s all I want to do now.”
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