Robert Grattan, a 64-year-old Macomb County diver, says he's recovered rings, phones, guns, coins, fishing motors and more than 300 pairs of sunglasses over the years.
In 2019, after 45 minutes in the water, he recovered a white gold-encrusted wedding ring with diamonds and a large central stone at the St. Clair marina, according to Scuba Diving magazine. A husband had bought the ring for his wife in 1999.
While Grattan doesn't ask for money, people like the man who bought that jewelry often give financial reward. Most of his work is done in Lake St. Clair.
“I have a 100-percent success rate for finding things for people, so I’ve got a very solid reputation,” he tells the publication.
He began diving when he was in the U.S. Air Force in Okinawa from 1975-80. He later became a police officer in Utah and returned to Michigan in 1999. He opened a computer shop and closed it in 2006 around the time his wife passed.
In 2012, he started recovering people's belongings from the water. In 2018, requests really picked up after his daughter created a Facebook page.
“I was diving for gold on my own, playing with a metal detector and having a lot of fun. … One of the reasons I wanted to become a cop was to help people,” Grattan tells the publication. “It’s just like fixing computers; it gives me a lot of satisfaction to do something nobody else can do. Most divers won’t touch muck and zero visibility. Most divers won’t dive like I do.”