Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones had a pretty chill offseason, resting for most of it to heal up from foot surgery in March. However, Jones was recently jet skiing on Lake Lanier, a large reservoir north of Atlanta, when he hit a boat wake and flopped into the water.
Jones was fine, but he resurfaced without one of his diamond earrings. Jones, who said the earring was worth north of $100,000, hired a team of divers to try and recover the jewel, a daunting task given Lake Lanier’s depth and considerable murkiness.
Atlanta news station WXIA-TV broke the story and spoke with divers Richard Pickering and Bobby Griffin, a man who is described as the “Scubaman” of Lake Lanier, and they detailed how difficult the search was. Lake Lanier is 65 feet deep and the bottom is anything but uniform, thanks to the communities that were submerged when the river was dammed.
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.”
For his part, Jones is pretty chill about the whole affair, and he was mostly happy that nobody got hurt. As he said, “it’s materialistic stuff.”