Class ring found 36 years later off Lido Key

Good Morning Suncoast - Weekdays at 5am
Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 7:48 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A local diver has reunited a class ring with it’s owner, 36 years after he lost the ring off Lido Key.

Combing the coast in his spare time with an underwater metal detector, Shawn Rauch dives down looking for things with deep meaning. “I just do it for fun,” Shawn said.

His most recent special find was a high school class ring from 1986. Rauch then began a search that lead to a high school in Georgia.

“I searched a high school that he graduated from,” Shawn said. “There were three people in his graduating class that had the same initials.”

Tracking down people takes a little more than a metal detector, though. After narrowing down classmates in an online yearbook, Shawn said he found who he was looking for.

“His name was Mark Murray, and there was virtually no information about him on the internet,” Shawn said.

Finally, after a few calls to classmates, he got what he needed. His next call was to Mark Murray of Georgia. “I can’t even tell you the way it makes me feel it, words can’t describe it,” Mark said over the phone.

“Thirty-six years ago,” Mark recalled. “I got that ring junior year of high school I had for what, two weeks when I lost it.”

Luckily for Mark, Shawn is a finder, not a keeper. After an exchange of addresses, the ring was sent back for a long-awaited reunion.

“I remember my father was so mad at me,” Mark said. “he spent however much on it, and I lost it in two weeks.” It’s something Mark says he’ll hold onto a little tighter now.

As for Shawn, he’s already anticipating his next big find.

“It’s fun finding gold and diamonds and, you know, Rolex watches. But by far the best part is getting these reactions from people thinking that these hugely sentimental things are finally coming home.”

He said he’ll keep searching the gulf with the hope of more long-awaited reunions and returned smiles.

Copyright 2021 WWSB. All rights reserved.