Adapt Metal Detecting group

Since Rod Toms retired to Spain he has headed up this extremely popular group. He provides help and tuition to people who would like to try out this unusual and sometimes very profitable hobby.

This group expanded so fast they now have a north and south divide. South headed up by Rod Toms and the north headed up by Robin Bonathan. The group mainly detects on the beaches and in the sea up and down the south Costa Blanca and Costa Cálida coasts.

If you wish to know more about this group, from Torrevieja going south or from Guardamar going north, then email Rod on

There is also an aqua division within the Group who use specialist underwater metal detectors. If you wish to know more about this group you can also email Rod on

Adrian scrutinising the hole he has dug

What is metal detecting?

It is simply finding metal items such as coins, rings, badges etc. buried in the first few inches of earth. The hobby takes you away from your computer into the fresh air, where with the use of other advanced electronic wizardry, (the metal detector) you can have gentle exercise, enjoy nature and see what your ancestors left behind for you to find. Once at home you can share the information about your finds with others on the Internet and learn from fellow enthusiasts about their most recent discoveries. Searching for treasure is something that children grew up with after reading books about pirates. This fantasy can now become a reality as you can buy a metal detector and start looking for jewellery or old coins that have been buried in the ground. Some people think that reading the manual will make the individual an expert in looking for these objects. The truth is it takes time to master the skill and getting some help from the experts is a good start. Information regarding metal detection is available in books, magazines and on the Internet. Before making a purchase, you should study the types of devices available or simply inquire about the types of model.

Buying a metal detector

Please, please, please, remember that 25€ will not buy a metal detector it will buy you a non functional toy. If you are serious about metal detecting be prepared to pay 250€ minimum for a new detector or at least 150€ for a second-hand detector. This will get you set in the right direction.


Training a newcomer. We cordon off a section of beach and plant coins and jewellery for her to find

Training is possible if it is booked in advance. We will give you 2 free tuition days to see if this is the hobby for you, during which we will lend you a detector. After that, you will need to decide on whether it’s the hobby for you. There is an investment of equipment required if you do go ahead and join the group. 

Sea metal detecting

Shallow water hunting is one of the most rewarding ways to metal detect. Remember that when bathers sit on the beach and lather themselves with sun screen they usually jump into the water to cool down. Once in the water their fingers shrink and the rings just slide off their pre-lubricated fingers. With this in mind we know that there is more jewellery in the water than on the dry beach. Fortunately, for water hunters there is also less trash to dig in the water. Depending on location and time of the year shallow water hunters may need just a bathing suit or waders, a wet suit or even a dry suit for thermal protection. In addition, you will also need a metal detector that is completely waterproof and a strong long handle scoop.

Shallow water detecting encompasses hunting from the high water mark down to approximately waist deep. Shallow Water Detecting Technique Detecting in shallow water is very similar to beach hunting. Since the surf may be rolling over your feet, once a target is located you should mark the spot. The easiest way to do this is to simply plant one foot just behind the target. That foot never moves until the target is recovered. Now place the scoop in front of your planted foot and take a deep scoop of sand. Pull the scoop out of the hole and rest it off to the side of the hole. Do not dump the sand or waste time sifting all the sand out until you re-check the hole. If the target is still in the hole the scoop can be dumped and another scoop taken. If after 2 or 3 scoops the target is still not recovered try changing the direction of each dig by 90 degrees. Once you confirm with the metal detector that the target is no longer in the hole than you know it’s in the scoop. Now all you have to do is strain the sand. Fortunately, simply submerging the scoop is often enough to cause sand to strain through exposing the target.

The environment

This group helps to clear metal rubbish that is discarded on the beach and in the sea. You would be so surprised what they find. There are so many sharp objects that could hurt someone if they step on them.

The Plumbum project

We were delighted to welcome Juan Diego López (Secretary of the Hippocampus association) and José Luis Alcaide (Plumbum Project Coordinator) to the ADAPT monthly meeting to talk to us about this very important environmental project.

Juan Diego explained that the Plumbum project started in 2017 and its main function is to remove lead from coastal waters, including the Mar Menor, to reduce its toxic effect on the eco-system.

One of the important functions of our Metal Dectecting group in recent years has been to remove lead items from the Mar Menor as these contaminate significantly an area which already has many problems with pollution. The most recent count of lead recovered by our group, along with scuba divers working on the sea bed, is of 58 lead pieces weighing 3,570 kilo.

Lead recovered from the Mar Menor

The Plumbum director José Luis Alcaide has also confirmed that our Metal Detecting group to date has found 1039 pieces weighing a total of 115.76 kilos which as he says is an “awesome” achievement… and we agree!

You can find out more about the Plumbum project on their website: and here pictures of our Metal Detectorists working in the Mar Menor.

Search and recovery service

This group also provides a Free Search & Recovery Service. If you have lost a metal item such as a purse, jewellery, keys etc, we can search for them for you (subject to conditions – e.g. distance to travel) Contact:

Over the years we have had considerable success finding items of personal, sentimental value to people. Here are some pictures – each one tells a heartfelt story.