AUSTIN (KXAN) — It might just be one of the worst feelings — losing something you can’t replace.
It’s what happened to a Houston couple after their wedding in Austin last month. That is, until they got a phone call they never expected.
Houston couple Nathalie and Jesse White are high school sweethearts. The two said “I do” in Austin on Sept. 9, 2017, their 10-year anniversary.
The day after the celebration, the Whites decided to have a post-wedding party on Lake Travis with visiting family and friends.
“Everybody was coming from out of town, spending money so we wanted to treat them on the barge,” Jesse White said. “It was really nice, after the hurricane here in Houston, it was a nice little vacation for them to get away after everything happened.”
Then, not even 24 hours after exchanging vows, the unthinkable happened.
“After I went down the slide, I didn’t think anything of it. Then, I went to do a little toast, I was like, ‘Wait there’s supposed to be something on my hand,'” White said after coming to the conclusion any of us would.
“The ring is in the lake,” he said.
Nearly one month later to the date, on Sunday, Oct. 8, Texas Department of Public Safety officer Aaron Grigsby spent his Sunday off-duty diving with Lake Travis Scuba.
“This is just a fun thing for me to do on the weekends,” Grigsby said. “It was the last dive of the day on Sunday. The party barges had been there all week and everybody knows, all the divers know the party barges have a lot of things that are lost off of them — iPhones, wallets, jewelry you name it.”
It was then, he noticed something gleaming in the distance.
“As I was coming up from the depth, there was a ring sitting on a rock ledge about 25 feet, real close to some of the rock shelves where everybody loves to jump off the rocks,” Grigsby said.
It was a 14 karat white gold wedding band with initials engraved on the inside, “N&J 9-9-2017.” Grigsby went home and started googling combinations of Austin weddings on Sept. 9, trying to see if he could find a website, social media posts or registry announcement.
“I was hitting a little bit of a brick wall once you start entering in names it becomes a bit easier,” Grigsby said. “So we actually just took a wild stab at what we thought the ‘N’ name would be if it were a female and we came up with Natalie. We typed in Natalie it was the very first possible name combination and it went right to their website on the knot.com.”
Grigsby found the Whites’ phone number on the site and called to deliver the good news.
“We called the phone number and she was ecstatic. She immediately knew once I said I was a scuba diver and I found a ring she instantly started yelling at her family that we found it,” Grigsby said.
The Whites are still in shock, thinking something so precious would be forever lost.
“It was really, really surprising. I was telling everyone like, ‘It’s a diver, it’s a diver!’ Everyone was cheering for us, it was great,” Nathalie said.
For now, the couple is working with Lake Travis Scuba to get the ring back to them in Houston. The Whites say they plan on coming to Austin to meet and thank the team who found it.
So far this year, Lake Travis Scuba divers have found and collected nearly $100,000 worth of lost items. The most popular is lost sunglasses. Just this year, divers have found more than 1,500 sunglasses, nearly $60,000 worth. They also collected 228 trash bags, about 62 pieces of jewelry worth nearly $20,000 and 31 cell phones.