BRENTON Parnell knows relief is a wonderful feeling, especially when you fear you have lost something very precious.
In retrospect, the newlywed would have done well to listen to his wife when she told him to take off his wedding ring before he went swimming.
After marrying at St Matthew’s Church in Albury five days earlier, Mr Parnell was honeymooning in the Whitsundays with new wife Casey when they were flown to an island for a romantic afternoon on a tropical beach. The first 20 minutes was magical.
The next two hours was spent frantically searching for Mr Parnell’s wedding ring, which had slipped off during his first splash in the water.
The pilot of their seaplane had seen plenty of wedding rings go missing before but never had any of them been found.
Nevertheless, he dutifully ventured out into the water with the only snorkel on the island and searched for the ring until it was time to get the plane ready for departure.
But Mrs Parnell wasn’t about to give up.
She took the snorkel and kept searching for the final few minutes.
Close to the plane she noticed a school of fish that looked like they had been disturbed.
“They were just swimming around something in a two-metre radius and I just went over to them and I saw the ring,” Mrs Parnell said.
“I couldn’t believe it.
“I jumped out of the water and said ‘oh my God’ and I started crying and we just hugged each other.”
After the return plane trip, they were met by a bottle of champagne to celebrate the first time a lost wedding ring had actually been returned to its rightful owner.
While Mr Parnell said the happy resolution stopped him getting in trouble for ignoring his wife’s good advice, he learnt his lesson.
“We did go snorkelling a couple of days later and I left it in the hotel room,” he said.