Divers seek Julio Jones' lost treasure in Lake Lanier
GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- A dive team dipped below the surface of Lake Lanier on a rescue mission. They weren't searching for someone - but something.
"I'm getting ready to dive for a diamond ring - a diamond earring," Bobby Griffin said.
The self-described "Scubaman" of Lake Lanier, Griffin was on a mission along with salvage diver Richard Pickering to uncover a bit of a treasure - though not one long-ago abandoned at the bottom of this man-made lake. A jeweler and friend of Julio Jones paid the dive team $500 to have them try to find it.
"Yeah, it was worth a little bit," Jones said.
The superstar of the Atlanta Falcons lost his diamond earring while jet skiing. That was when he apparently hit a boat wake and was tossed into the water. He came back up, but his earring, worth more than $100,000 didn't. He suspects that it's now somewhere at the bottom of the lake - some 65 feet below.
At the bottom, it's completely dark.
"Pitch dark, which I was rather surprised at," Griffin said.
It's also full of trees that haven't seen daylight since the 1950s.
"They cut the trees off and let all the limbs fall down," Pickering added.
The only hope is that the divers' lights might catch a glint off the diamond - not an easy way to find such a small item.
"It's down in crevasses and nooks and crannies," Pickering said. "It's impossible - absolutely impossible."
Later, Pickering gave a very detailed metaphor for what this search was like:
"Drive down the road in your car at 70 MPH. Then take your earring out and throw it into the woods in the middle of the night, and you are not sure where it lands. Then it is 45 degrees outside and you only have a thin jacket to protect yourself. Then go try to find it with a small flash light that only shines a few feet at best.
Now add 75 feet of water over your head. In the freezing cold water. And a foggy mask so you only get to look in front of you. Add silt and mud to limit visibility to under one foot. Then bump into every tree, stick and fishing line down there. And you have a limited amount of time with air in your scuba tank - so you only get 15 minutes to complete the task.
Get the picture? Not an easy task!"
The divers ultimately rose from the water empty-handed. There was no catch today for Julio Jones though he said he's just happy no one was hurt when he fell.
"As long as I'm good, it's materialistic stuff," he said. "You can always get that kind of stuff back."
Or even better - replace it with a Super Bowl ring this season.
"Most definitely," Jones said.
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