Robert Phillips never thought he would see his college class ring again after he dropped it in the Cooper River in South Carolina.
39 years later, after he lost the ring, Phillips was surprised by a visitor to his hospital room only days after having brain surgery.
In some 40 feet of murky water and while fighting strong currents, Tovin saw something shine.
“Without even shining my light on it, it was clear that it has weight to it, and it was metal or gold,” Tovin said.
“And when I shined my light on it, I said, wow, this is the first time I’ve ever found jewelry underneath the water,” he said.
CNN continued on to report that the gold ring was inscribed with the initials RLP along with the date, 1974.
After a lot of researching, Tovin finally found the ring’s rightful owner and decided he would personally deliver it to him.
Fox 59 News reported that Robert Phillips was boating on the Cooper River with his future wife, Nancy, when he lost the ring in 1974 — just two weeks after he got it.
“He was very upset and hated to tell his mom that he lost it,” Nancy Phillips said.
“Losing it in the river, we never thought we would never, ever, ever see it again.”
Tovin met Phillips in the hospital a few days after his surgery, and after getting down on one knee, presented Phillips with his ring according to CNN:
“I was down there fighting strong currents and large alligators trying to get you your ring back,” said Tovin, as Phillips smiled.
“And I’ve got it here, and I know this is going to look like I’m proposing to you, so please don’t tell my wife, OK,” he said, as the room erupted in laughter.
“Wow. That is awesome,” Phillips said.
Robert Phillips’ family watched in awe as he received his long-lost ring, and hope that it will bring a spark back into Robert’s life as he continues to fight his battle with cancer.
[Image via Shutterstock/Margaret M Stewart]