RALEIGH COUNTY, W.Va. (WVVA) – It was like finding a needle in a haystack. That is how Patrolman First Class John Lively with the Myrtle Beach Police Department’s Beach Patrol described what he and his co-workers had to do after they were approached by a troubled man at the beach on Saturday, July 1.
The man and his girlfriend were visiting Grand Strand Beach in South Carolina from Tennessee. The girlfriend knew they were taking photos together on the beach, but what she didn’t know was that she was really walking into her engagement.
But when the time came to get down on one knee, her boyfriend realized something was wrong.
“He realized the ring was not in his pocket any further, so that’s when we realized, okay, so we’ve got a big issue on our hands. We’ve got an engagement ring that’s lost in the sand,” Lively shared.
The man quickly enlisted the help of Beach Patrol.
“Thankfully, there was only four locations they had sat down to take these pictures at, so it kind of helped our search tremendously knowing there were only four locations instead of just numerous locations up and down the beach.”
It took four officers, a K9 named Goggles and a metal detector to locate the missing diamond, but Lively says he would have stayed all night if that’s what it took to save the day for the couple.
Lively lives in Myrtle Beach now, but he’s actually a Raleigh County native. He graduated from Shady Spring High School in 2015 and continued his education in criminal justice at New River Community and Technical College. He moved to South Carolina to begin his career with the Myrtle Beach Police Department roughly three years ago.
Lively says it’s that Appalachian kindness ingrained in him that pushed him to go above and beyond.
“With the Appalachian community I was raised, I would give the shirt off my back to anyone that needed help, and that’s what I was planning on doing that day,” he shared. “I told him- I said, ‘Listen. I’m not going to leave until I find this ring.’ I said, ‘My shift’s over at 10 o’clock, but I’m going to stay out here, and I’m going to find this ring for you.’”
It was only after the ring was found and the evening ended in a ‘Yes!’ that Lively and his co-workers breathed a sigh of relief. Now, they say they’re just waiting for an invitation to the wedding.
The other officers involved in the rescue were Sean Owens, Zachary Stashick and Shon McCluskey.
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