A STAR of the stage and screen has been reunited with his wedding ring thanks to a metal detectorist after losing the precious item on Frinton beach.

Rufus Wright, who appeared in Star Wars Rogue One and James Bond film Quantum of Solace, visited the genteel resort with his wife and son earlier this month.

But during the trip he lost his gold wedding band while swimming in the sea off Fourth Avenue.

Rufus said: “As the lockdown started to ease we decided to risk a trip to Frinton beach as it’s a big place and wouldn’t come within two metres of anyone.

“I decided to go for a swim in the sea and was in two to three feet of water when I dropped the ring."

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Big thanks - Adam Ferguson and Rufus Wright

He added: “I tried to pick it up but it just disappeared - I was on my hands and knees looking for it for hours.

“I was heartbroken - it was a 22ct gold ring that I’d had since we got married in 2008.

“We waited hours for the tide to go out to see if it would be revealed, but it didn’t so I returned heartbroken to London.”

Rufus’ wife Melanie appealed to locals on social media in the vain hope it may be found.

And her plea for help was answered by Colchester Institute carpentry and joinery lecturer Adam Ferguson.

Adam launched Clacton Metal Detector Club just over a month ago.

And after spotting the appeal he 42-year-old, from Clacton, spotted decided to take on the challenge.

He said: “We have only recently set up our club, and we are always happy to try and help people to be reunited with their misplaced items on the beach.

“I didn’t know Rufus was an actor when I offered to help find it. I said it’d be a million to one shot to find it if it was lost in the sea.”

After spending all day on the beach, Adam found the ring in the sea about knee depth in the sand.

“It was quite a surprise to actually find it - we were all very lucky that day.

“Adam is a really lovely guy and a real family man.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Great find - Adam with the wedding ring

Rufus had generously offered a £100 reward, but Adam declined the offer – instead donating the cash to Clacton RNLI and local NHS workers.

The pair met at the lifeboat station, in Hastings Avenue, on Saturday to hand the find over – and Rufus thanked the detectorist with a bottle of champagne.

Rufus added: “I hadn’t held up much hope of them finding it.

“It was a tremendous moment when he told us he had found it - especially in these grim times.”

The actor had been due to appear in The Corn is Green at the National Theatre, but the opening has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But he had finished shooting a film, Operation Mincemeat starring Colin Firth, shortly before lockdown started - and he is also currently on air in Radio 4 drama Tumanbay.

David Wells, lifeboat operations manager, thanked the pair for the donation.

He said: “It is just fantastic that Mr Wright was reunited with an irreplaceable personal item in a one in a million chance of recovery coming good.”

The Essex Partnership Trust, which provides mental health services across the county, will benefit from some of the cash.

Sally Morris, chief executive at the trust, said: “On behalf of everyone at the trust, I would like to thank Adam for his very kind donation.

“Donations like this help us finance little extras that help make the care we provide that bit more special.”

Adam added: “I really wanted the money to benefit as many people as possible and donating to the trust will help that happen, particularly during these challenging times.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Equipment - a metal detector

To find out more about the Clacton Metal Detecting Club, click here.