News Article:

Local Man Lives For The Hunt

Professional 'finder' retrieves lost valuables

By Kevin Diakiw, The Vancouver Courier

If you've lost a ring or necklace and it seems like it's gone for good, don't lose hope. Chris Turner, who claims to be Vancouver's only treasure hunter for hire, may be able to help.

Turner, who's hunted for treasure all over the world with his metal detectors, has recently decided to make his services available to the public in Vancouver.

Professional Finders is a company created to help people who have lost jewelry in the grass, sand, snow, even lakes and oceans. IF the people have a good idea where they lost the item it can usually be found, no matter where it is.

Tim Gale is a lifeguard at third beach who races paddleboards in local competition. Last August he used his lunch break to train on the board in a choppy sea. His wedding ring felt al little loose so Gale decided to take it off and hold if for security. While he was attempting to take it off, a wave hit the board.

"All of a sudden it pops off my finger, bounces off the board and into the ocean," said Gale.

"Lots of other people had lost jewelry before and I kind of felt for them," said Gale. "But you sure get a feeling for how they feel when you lose it yourself."

Gale got a mask and fins and went back to the spot where he remembered losing the ring. He did a grid search for about an hour, scouring the area, but had no luck in finding it.

"If it was calm, I would have said it would be an easy find," said Gale. "But with all the waves coming up and pounding the shore… I thought, that's it I've lost it. There's no chance of finding it."

Turner had approached Gale before with flyers, so in a state of desperation, he gave Professional Finders a call.

Turner came out that night, and Gale pointed to a spot about 40 yards off the shore where he remembered losing the ring.

Turner decided to come back at 3:15 a.m. when the tide was low.

Gale got a call from Turner the next morning assuring him that he had found the ring.

Turner can also salvage things from snow.

Lynette was having a snowball fight with her boyfriend during Burnaby's last snowfall. When Lynette threw one of the snowballs, her family ring came off and landed in the snow.

They called Diversified Electronics and rented a metal detector to search the area. After several hours of unsuccessful searching the couple went back to Diversified Electronics. The staff recommended they try Professional Finders.

Turner came out and found the ring in 15 minutes.

Turner also has an underwater metal detector for finding jewelry that has dropped in up to four feet of water. If it's deeper than that he uses a professional scuba diver to retrieve it.

Turner advises that people follow simple rules when they lose jewelry at the beach.

  • Don't frantically search the area for the lost treasure; you will only succeed in doing two things. You will bury the item to a point where it can't be retrieved, or you will attract the attention of someone else with a metal detector.
  • Mark the spot where you lost it - it increases the chances of finding it tenfold.
  • Don't wait to call professional Finders. If someone with a metal detector doesn't find it, the beach grooming machine will destroy it.

Turner's rates are $40 an hour, plus a finder's fee that depends on the value of the item ($50 for a gold band and more for more expensive items).

While Turner said he won't get rich off Professional Finders, he says the job has other, intangible benefits.

"What makes this business really rewarding is finding things for people and seeing the looks on their faces."

Professional Finders can be reached any time at 650-2878.