Richard Pickering, of Suwanee, will at times do five dives in a day, mostly around 30 to 40 feet deep.
But Tuesday’s dive took him 75 feet deep in Lake Lanier on a mission: to recover a $150,000 earring of Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones.
Pickering said he and fellow diver Bobby Griffin were contacted by people that Jones was jet skiing with. Pickering is an experienced recovery diver, often bringing back sunglasses, phones or other valuables from the deep.
A huge Falcons fan, Pickering said the dive was difficult because of the circumstances found at Lake Lanier, particularly the trees, branches and other debris in dark, cold water.
“When you’re diving into that, you have to be very, very careful,” Pickering said.
Pickering dove for about 15 to 20 minutes in two different spots, but he came up empty-handed.
He said he is probably going to go back.
For recovery diving, Pickering said he charges a fee after assessing the situation and learning about the person’s circumstances. He needs to know where and what to look for, as well as the depth.
On one previous excursion, he found 18 pairs of sunglasses on a single dive.
Outside of his love for diving, Pickering works in internet marketing.