Man's love runs deep in search for ring

WELLINGTON Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:21pm EDT

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WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A New Zealand man has been dubbed the Lord of the Ring after he searched and found his wedding ring more than a year after it slipped off his finger and sank to the sea floor.

The ring was lost for 16 months in the harbor of the country's capital city, Wellington, before Aleki Taumoepeau found it shining on the sea floor, the DominionPost newspaper reported Thursday.

"The whole top surface of the ring was glowing," Taumoepeau, an ecologist, said.

Taumoepeau had been married for just three months when he lost the wedding ring while conducting an environmental sweep of the harbor.

He roughly marked the spot where the ring had flown from his finger, but was unable to find it despite returning to the area many times.

Taumoepeau's wife offered to buy another ring, but he refused, pledging to find the ring.

But, equipped with new global satellite based coordinates and offering up a quick prayer, he found the ring after an hour's search.

"I couldn't believe that I could see the ring so perfectly," Taumoepeau said.

He said those with him on the boat at the time the ring flew off his finger had likened it to a similar, slow motion shot from The Lord of the Rings, much of which was filmed in Wellington by local director Peter Jackson.

(Reporting by Michael Dickison; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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