Local ring finder helps find cochlear implant in lake

When a boy dropped his critical hearing tool in Lake Wingra, one Madison man jumped into help.
Published: Jul. 12, 2020 at 1:30 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - When a boy dropped his critical hearing tool in a lake, a Madison ring finder stepped in to help out.

One weekend in mid-June, 11-year-old Caelan Alder spent the day kayaking with a friend on Lake Wingra.

“[We were] on and off, jumping in the water, getting back in the kayaks,” Alder remembered.

Alder was born deaf, so he wears cochlear implants in each ear in order to hear. However, he took the implants out when he and his friend decided to go swimming.

“They’re not supposed to be submerged in water,” Alder explained, adding that the implants are only “splash-proof” for about half an hour.

However, when Alder went to put his implants back on, one fell in the water.

“I just dropped into the water looking for it,” Alder said. “I was just like find it, find it, must find it, that was my instinct. I cannot lose this, this is the last possible thing I can lose right now.”

Alder’s family jumped in to help as well. Alder’s mom said a replacement could cost up to $3,000.

On top of that, Alder was supposed to be visiting a friend in Minnesota in just a few days.

“I was leaving four days later, and I couldn’t get a replacement by then, so we had to find it,” Alder said. Alder added that he can hear with just one cochlear implant, but he can hear much better with both in.

Alder and his family searched themselves for about three hours without finding anything. Then, someone told the family about Dan Roekle.

Tracking down what people can’t find is Roekle’s business.

“People call, looking for rings, jewelry, phones,” Roekle said.

After hearing from the Alders, he grabbed his tools and got to work.

“I was able to use the metal detector to find a signal and then took the magnet and kind of waved it over that spot,” Roekle explained.

In less than 30 minutes, Roekle found the sunken treasure.

“I was shocked once again and then I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, thank you so much',” Alder remembered.

The best part: after four hours submerged, the cochlear implant still worked.

“You hear so much more noise, all of a sudden you can hear the birds chirping,” Alder explained.

For Roekle, it was another job done, and another family helped.

“I’m just happy that I can do something that I enjoy doing and help people out at the same time,” Roekle said.

If you think you’ve lost something that Roekle could help find, visit his website. Roekle said even if it has been years, it could still be possible to find something.

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