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Buyers Guide & Information

Garrett Metal Detector Reviews

Learn about searching for treasure with our Garrett metal detector reviews. Find out if this metal detector brand is the best product for you.

by JohnL

Out of all the metal detector brands available, there aren't many that compare to Garrett. The company started selling metal detectors back in 1964, and since then, Garrett has been a leading force of the metal detecting industry. Whether you're searching for a pro-level metal detector with tons of advanced features or a beginner-friendly model to start fresh with the hobby, consider buying a Garrett product.

As soon as you start browsing Garrett metal detectors, you’ll see that you’re not short on options. These products range in performance features, usability, and price, so deciding on one won't be easy. But we've got your back with this complete guide to the top 8 Garrett metal detector reviews. 

Image

Product

Sensitivity Levels

Maximum Search Depth

Check Price

Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector

Garrett AT Pro

8

12” (small objects)

Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector with Waterproof...

Garrett ACE 300

8

10” (small objects)

Garrett ACE 250

Garrett ACE 250

8

6” (small objects)

Garrett AT MAX Waterproof Metal Detector, MS-3...

Garrett AT MAX

8

12” (small objects)

Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II Underwater Metal...

Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II

8

N/A

Garrett Metal Detectors ACE 400 55 Year...

Garrett Metal Detectors ACE 400

8

12”

Garrett ACE 200 Metal Detector with Waterproof...

Garrett ACE 200

4

6” (small objects)

Garrett GTI 2500 Metal Detector W/9.5' & 12.5'...

Garrett GTI 2500

12

12”+ (small objects)

Why Choose the Garrett Brand?

A company that has been around for over 5 decades is one you can trust. If it weren't for the high-quality performance of Garrett products, the company would not have survived and thrived to become what it is today. It all started by a man named Charles Garrett, who had the vision to not only manufacture the best metal detectors but also sell them at a reasonable price.  

There are quite a few features that set Garrett apart from the rest, like Fast Track Ground Balance, Digital Target ID, High-Resolution Iron Discrimination, and Electronic Pinpointing. But the main thing we love about this brand is the fair pricing model. Garretts aren't lacking in any way when it comes to metal detecting performance, but you can almost always find a Garrett product that falls within your budget.

The other thing we love about Garrett is that they do their very best to include everyone by catering to all sorts of metal detecting needs. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro or beginner, if you’re hunting in the water or on land, or if you're on a budget. Garrett has something for everyone.


What To Look For In A Quality Metal Detector

Type of Detector

There are 3 types of metal detectors to choose from, including VLF, pulse induction, and multi-frequency. The majority of Garrett metal detectors use VLF (very low frequency) technology, but it’s still possible to find PI and MF detectors made by Garrett.  When comparing all 3 types, VLF is the most popular for a few reasons.

The first is its lower price point, but even with the most economical cost, VLF machines are known to be very accurate. It works by using 2 search coils, one for sending the electromagnetic signal and one for receiving it back. Pulse induction works a bit differently by sending small pulses into the ground. It’s great for finding small objects, but not so great for differentiating between metal types.

Multi-frequency detectors operate on multiple frequency levels, which is great for finding both small and large objects and a wide range of metal types. Garrett carries all 3 types of metal detectors, but most customers find that the most convenient (and the most budget-friendly) are the VLF models.

Hunting Location & Frequency of Use

Before going out and purchasing your brand new Garrett, think about the hunting logistics. Where will you be hunting? How often will you be using the metal detector? Answering both of these questions is one of the best ways to find the perfect metal detector that meets your specific needs.

Garrett has products for beach, land, and in-water detection up to 200 feet. It's up to you to decide exactly where you'll be hunting for treasure, but our suggestion is to choose a model that's waterproof up to 10 feet - Garrett has plenty of these. If you plan on using your detector regularly, don't hesitate to spend a bit more on a high-quality detector.

Metal Detector Features

The 3 main features to look for in your new metal detector are discrimination, ground balance, and target ID. Discrimination is a detector's ability to differentiate between different types of metal, like steel vs. iron. This is especially helpful if you're hunting for a specific item; advanced discrimination allows you to select the types of metal that send alert signals and leave out the ones you don't care to find.

Another must-have feature is ground balance. The ground contains metal minerals that can interfere with the detector's signal. Ground balance works to cancel out mineralized ground, so you don’t have to worry about false signals from the high-iron soil composition.

Target ID tells you specific details on the item you've found based on the metal's conductivity level. The good news is that Garrett detectors come with all of these features and more. Take the Garrett AT Pro metal detector as an example; it comes with Fast Track automatic ground balancing, 40 levels of iron discrimination, and an easy-to-read LCD for digital target identification.

Search Depth & Modes

Basic metal detectors aren't designed to find metal that is buried deep in the Earth. Even a high-quality model has limits when it comes to detection depth. The exact depth a metal detector can go depends on the size of the target object, the metal detector type, and the soil composition. Most Garrett models can find small objects up to 10" deep and larger ones up to a few feet.

Setting different search modes can come in handy, especially if you plan on detecting in different locations, or you're looking for specific items. You'll find several search modes on the majority of Garrett products, including Jewelry, Coins, Relics, and Custom mode. The Custom mode is especially helpful if you’re on the hunt for something specific, like valuable gold nuggets.

Coil Type

A metal detector’s coil is responsible for sending and receiving electromagnetic signals. Without it, finding buried treasure wouldn’t be possible. There are 2 unique coil designs for modern metal detectors: concentric and DD wide scan. Pinpointing an object with a concentric coil is easier, but the DD coil type is better for handling heavy ground mineralization.

Garrett offers metal detectors with both coil styles. For example, the Garrett AT pro uses DD wide scan coils while the Ace 300 uses concentric coils. Our suggestion is to go with DD if you plan on hunting for metal in highly mineralized ground. For normal soil composition, a concentric coil metal detector will get the job done.

Sensitivity & Frequency

A detector’s sensitivity is its ability to find different metal types and sizes. Higher sensitivity is better for detecting small metal objects, like coins and nuggets. But the highest sensitivity isn’t always the best choice, especially if you’re looking for large relics. You’ll want to choose a detector that offers a range of sensitivity levels, which all Garrett metal detectors do.

Metal Detectors South Africa says that frequency is 

"the number of waves per unit of time measured in Khz or kilohertz.  In a metal detector, this is the number of electronic waves sent into the ground to detect metal."

Low-frequency detectors have a stronger wavelength, so they can reach greater depths. High-frequency detectors are better at detecting small objects. Our suggestion is to look for a Garrett model in the middle ground, somewhere between 6 and 8 kHz. 

Price & Warranty

One of the Garrett missions is to offer a variety of products that fit within every budget, and they’ve accomplished this goal. You can find budget-friendly detectors as well as top of the range models here, so set your budget before shopping around. No matter the amount you’re willing to spend, only consider products that come with a warranty. The Garrett metal detector warranty is as good as it gets.

Here’s what the company has to say about its warranty policy:

"Each piece of detection equipment manufactured by Garrett is protected by the following limited parts and labor warranty for a period of 24 (twenty-four) months from the date of purchase… During these 24 months, Garrett will inspect and evaluate all equipment returned to its authorized repair station or factory to determine if the equipment meets Garrett's performance specifications. Garrett will repair or replace at no charge to the owner all parts determined faulty."


8 Best Garrett Metal Detectors Reviewed

1. Garrett AT Pro

Our Top Pick

Sensitivity Levels

8

Maximum Search Depth

12” (small objects)

Weight

3.03 lbs

Search Modes

6

Frequency

15kHz

Warranty

2 years

AT Pro is a well-known name among both beginner and advanced detectorists. This Garrett AT gold metal detector is one of the most-loved detectors on the market, and it's undoubtedly the most-loved Garrett product available. It has a DD search coil design that is great for penetrating targets that are buried deep in the ground. It's suitable for all terrains, and can even be submerged in water up to 10 feet deep.  Any Garrett AT gold metal detector review will tell you the same thing; this device offers excellent audio features.

Garrett says that

 “The AT Pro features advanced, proportional (Pro) audio modes. This allows the user to hear subtle changes in a target’s response. Proportional audio also helps the user to better judge a target's size, shape, and depth and has the additional benefit of a much faster recovery time when detecting adjacent targets.”

Another thing we love about this midrange device is its Fast Track automatic ground balance. Even in highly mineralized soil conditions, you won’t have to do anything to balance out the ground metals - the detector will do it for you. It also comes with 40 levels of iron discrimination, so you’ll have no trouble separating the valuable treasure from the iron trash.

There are so many reasons the Garrett AT Pro is our top pick. In addition to impressive discrimination and automatic ground balance, this detector comes with electronic pinpointing. Pinpoint detection uses an All-Metal mode to precisely locate the location of a target. That means you don’t have to buy a separate pinpointer device for better accuracy - this all-in-one device does it all.

Pros

  • Fast ground balancing
  • Enhanced iron discrimination
  • Electronic pinpointing
  • Great for all levels
  • Submersible

Cons

  • Single-frequency operation
  • No waterproof headphones

2. Garrett ACE 300

Value for Money Model

Sensitivity Levels

8

Maximum Search Depth

10” (small objects)

Weight

2.8 lbs

Search Modes

5

Frequency

8kHz (adjustable)

Warranty

2 years

Looking for the best value? Then you’ll want to go with the Garrett Ace 300 metal detector, a device that comes with all the bells and whistles while also remaining within budget. Unlike the AT Pro, the Ace 300 comes with a concentric-style search coil rather than the DD design. This means that both coils are in a circular position with one placed inside the other. The advantage of this design is better pinpointing, so you should have no trouble accurately locating your targets with the Ace 300.

Another significant difference from the AT Pro is the Ace 300's frequency adjustability. It doesn't operate on just a single frequency but on several. This is really handy for minimizing interference caused by other metal detectors, even eliminating it altogether. If you're a part of a metal detecting club, you'll want to find a device that has this feature, and the Ace 300 is a perfect choice.

Any Garrett treasure Ace 300 metal detector review will tell you that the coolest feature of this detector is the Graphic Target Analyzing, which "simultaneously shows a treasure target's conductivity and the detector's discrimination pattern." This gives you a more accurate idea of what the target might be before you spend time digging it up.

If you take a look at the Ace 300 gallery, you’ll get an idea of all the cool treasure items you could potentially find with this detector. Coins, jewelry, relics, gold… it’s all a possibility. The only downside is the fixed ground balance function, so it doesn’t come with the AT Pro Fast Track automatic ground balancing feature. This isn’t a big deal for beginners, but it might make a difference for more advanced detectorists who plan on hunting in highly mineralized ground cover.

Pros

  • Graphic target analyzing
  • Electronic pinpointing
  • Adjustable frequency
  • All accessories included
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Fixed ground balance
  • No iron audio

3. Garrett ACE 250

Garrett ACE 250

Garrett ACE 250

Best Entry Level Option

Sensitivity Levels

8

Maximum Search Depth

6” (small objects)

Weight

2.7 lbs

Search Modes

5

Frequency

6.5 kHz

Warranty

2 years

For beginner detectorists looking for an entry-level model that won't break the bank, consider the Garrett Ace 250 metal detector. Like the last one, this is part of Garrett's Ace series of metal detectors but has some minor differences to the 300 model. This has been called the best entry-level option time and time again, and one reason for this is the 250's lightweight design.

It weighs just 2.7 pounds and comes with a well-placed elbow rest to keep users comfortable. The controls are perfectly placed and easy to reach, so even smaller individuals shouldn’t have any trouble staying comfy. Another feature that makes this the best beginner-friendly Garrett is the control panel. The buttons are all clearly labeled, and the LCD screen is easy to see, so it shouldn't take too long to figure out all the key features. 

Speaking of key features, the Ace 250 comes with a Graphic Target ID cursor. This Targe ID feature is way less complicated than the more advanced Garrett detectors - instead of numerical values ranging from 0-99, it comes with 12 segments that help to tell you the target’s metal type (gold, iron, silver, etc.). The 0-99 style is great for detectorists who know what they're doing, but it can be difficult for newbies to get the hang of. This is why beginners love the simplified Target ID on the Ace 250. 

This detector features 5 search modes, including Coins, Jewelry, Relics, All-Metal, and Custom. It comes with a pinpointer function to more accurately locate the target, plus it comes with a waterproof search coil. The main negative feedback for the 250 is the lack of volume control and no manual ground balancing. All in all, this is a great choice for beginners, but it’s a bit basic if you’re looking for more advanced features.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Easy to use
  • Clear control panel
  • Lightweight design + elbow rest
  • Graphic Target ID feature

Cons

  • No signal volume control
  • Shallow depth detection

4. Garrett AT MAX

Best Waterproof Garrett Metal Detector

Sensitivity Levels

8

Maximum Search Depth

12” (small objects)

Weight

3.03 lbs

Search Modes

4

Frequency

13.6kHz

Warranty

2 years

Most Garrett detectors come with some sort of waterproof detection, especially surrounding the search coil. But none of these quite stand up to the waterproof performance of the AT Max. The Garrett AT Max metal detector is as rugged as they come. It's very similar to the company's top-rated AT Pro, but it's more suitable for detectorists who plan on spending a lot of time in or near shallow water.

The AT Max is all about durability. It comes with a waterproof, shock resistant LED-backlit screen which allows users to treasure hunt in low-light conditions. This all-terrain device is suitable for most conditions, including dusty deserts, dewy meadows, and shallow waters. It is entirely compatible with salt water, so you can go from freshwater to saltwater environments without a hitch.

Although we love its durability, the thing we love most about the AT Max is the Z-Lynk Wireless Technology. This is a completely wireless device, which means you’ll be able to use wireless headphones to receive your target signals.

Garrett says that there’s 

“near-zero delay (17-milliseconds) from your detector to your headphones...Six times faster than Bluetooth speed, and up to four times faster than other wireless headphones.”

The higher frequency of 13.6 kHz and 8 sensitivity levels offer maximum depth detection so that you can detect targets deeper than other Garretts. It has automated ground balancing, audio signals for iron detection, and a True All-Metal mode that allows you to discover all types of metals. The downside? All these rugged features come at a cost, so you can expect to pay more for the AT Max than you would for the AT Pro.

Pros

  • Wireless technology
  • Clear backlit screen
  • Automated ground balance
  • Deep detection
  • High operating frequency

Cons

  • Slightly heavy
  • High cost

5. Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II

Best Submersible Garrett Model

Sensitivity Levels

8

Maximum Search Depth

N/A

Weight

5.1 lbs

Search Modes

2

Frequency

Multiple Levels

Warranty

1 year

Any Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II underwater metal detector review will tell you that this is the Garrett device for underwater treasure hunting. So far, all of the products we’ve covered have been submersible up to 10 feet, but the Sea Hunter is specifically meant for diving to great depths.

It is submersible up to 200 feet, making it the ideal choice for underwater activities. The Sea Hunter Mark II is the go-to choice for diving detectorists; there’s nothing quite like finding buried treasure with a SCUBA tank on your back.

Garrett says that you'll get the chance to

 "unlock another world of treasure with the Sea Hunter, trusted by the late expert treasure diver Sir Robert Marx."

The Sea Hunter uses pulse induction technology, which is the much better choice for beach and underwater hunting; PI detectors can handle high levels of salt. You're probably wondering how it's possible to hear alert signals when underwater, but Garrett has got you covered. Included with the Sea Hunter detector is a pair of waterproof headphones, so you’ll be able to hear alert for different targets even while underwater.

Since this is an underwater device, it doesn't come with an LCD screen. The control panel consists of knobs for adjusting the threshold, elimination/discrimination, and more. Some people don't love the fact that this doesn't come with an LCD readout, but this is the price you pay for metal detecting up to 200 feet.

Pros

  • Great for wreck diving
  • Easy to use control knobs
  • Waterproof headphones included
  • Hip mount belt included

Cons

  • Shorter warranty
  • No LCD

6. Garrett Metal Detectors ACE 400

Best Rated

Sensitivity Levels

8

Maximum Search Depth

12”

Weight

2.9 lbs

Search Modes

5

Frequency

10kHz (adjustable)

Warranty

2 years

The Garrett Ace 400 metal detector is the top performer in the Ace series. It's a step up from the Ace 300 thanks to its advanced features that make it more powerful than the previous model. According to Garrett 400 metal detector reviews, this is the better choice for finding small objects like coins, gold nuggets, and jewelry items. The main reason for such high marks from Ace 400 users is the detector's advanced features come with an affordable price that you wouldn't expect.

So what makes the Ace 400 more advanced than the 300 models? The first thing has to do with the search coil. The 300's search coil is smaller than the 400's, which means the 400 models can penetrate deeper into the ground, and do so more accurately with fewer false signals. The other difference is that the 300 doesn't offer iron audio, while the 400 does. The lack of iron audio can make it difficult to differentiate between iron junk and valuable treasure.

We’re not saying that the 300 isn’t a solid choice, only that the 400 is a better option if you’re looking for more advanced features.  Metal detecting with the Ace 400 isn’t just for the pros, though. Garrett has made it easy to operate this high-end machine by including essential features like electronic pinpointing, digital target ID, and adjustable frequency to minimize interference from other detectors.

Ground balance is the one area that Ace 400 is lacking. If you plan on treasure hunting in an area with highly mineralized soil composition, you might want to go with a different Garrett model. It's also important to realize that the Garrett Ace metal detectors aren't submersible, and this also applies to the Ace 300.

Pros

  • Higher frequency
  • Larger search coil
  • Electronic pinpointing
  • Iron audio
  • Digital target ID

Cons

  • Not submersible
  • No adjustable ground balance

7. Garrett ACE 200

Cheap/Budget Option

Sensitivity Levels

4

Maximum Search Depth

6” (small objects)

Weight

2.75 lbs

Search Modes

3

Frequency

6.5kHz

Warranty

2 years

So far on this list of Garrett metal detector reviews, we’ve covered the Ace 250, 300, and 400. But what about the 200 Garrett Ace metal detector? For anyone looking for a cheap, entry-level detector, this is the one.

Garrett says that the 200 is the ultimate choice if you're looking for a

 "lightweight, powerful, entry-level detector that's easy to learn. Simple One-Touch operation; turn on and begin hunting."

The Garrett Ace 200 metal detector is all about simplicity, but that doesn't mean it lacks in performance in any way. It features a one-touch operation, which is the main reason that so many first-time detectorists opt for the 200 - not to mention the affordable price tag. This detector is similar in every aspect to the 300 and 400 models, especially in the way it looks. When comparing the machines side-by-side, you might struggle to tell the difference.

But there are a few slight differences in their performance. Using the 200 is considered the most “basic” of the Ace series; it has the lowest frequency (6.5kHz), the fewest search modes (3), and the fewest sensitivity levels (4). You might automatically assume that these downgrades make the 200 an inferior detector, but it’s actually just the opposite. The more basic features and lightweight design is what makes this the ultimate choice for new detectorists, especially those on a budget.

Pros

  • All accessories included
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Digital target ID
  • Lightweight
  • Sharp audio response

Cons

  • No electronic pinpointing
  • Shorter battery life

8. Garrett GTI 2500

Top of the Range

Sensitivity Levels

12

Maximum Search Depth

12”+ (small objects)

Weight

4.6 lbs

Search Modes

6

Frequency

7.2kHz (adjustable)

Warranty

2 years

No Garrett metal detector compares to the GTI 2500. Unfortunately, this top of the range model doesn't fit within every detectorist's budget, but if you're willing to throw down some cash, keep reading. The GTI 2500 is the priciest device on our list, but there’s a reason for that - many reasons, actually. The main reason is that the device’s Graphic Target Imaging, which is where the acronym GTI comes from. The GTI feature means that you’ll be spending less time digging up trash, and more time focusing on potential buried treasure.

“Garrett’s true-size imaging gives target sizes ranging from A (smaller than a coin) to E (larger than a soda can),”

ays Garrett.

Garrett GTI 2500 pro metal detector reviews rave about this exclusive feature, mostly because it shows the actual size and depth of the target on the detector's LCD. Another cool feature of the GTI 2500 is the Last Mode Switching. If you want to check a target quickly, you can quickly switch from True All-Metal mode to the last discrimination mode you were using.

This means no fumbling around and wasting time pressing buttons on the control panel. GTI and LMS are the advanced features that set the GTI 2500 above the rest, but it also comes with all the standard features (like Fast Track ground balance and electronic pinpointing.

Pros

  • Automatic ground balance
  • Automatic pinpointing
  • Depth/Size readings
  • Battery indicator
  • Salt elimination for beach

Cons

  • High cost
  • Not for beginners

Comparing Garrett to Other Metal Detector Brands

We’ll be honest, Garrett isn’t the only reputable manufacturer of metal detectors out there. Sure, this company is one of the best, but brands like Fisher, Bounty Hunter, and Minelab are worthy opponents. Garrett is most often compared to Bounty Hunter since both of these companies manufacture high-quality products at an affordable cost.

We can't say which is better of the two, but one thing is for sure. There is no budget-friendly metal detector that compares to the AT Pro. Garrett products cost slightly more on average than Bounty Hunters, but they also come with more performance features and sturdier construction.


How to Use a Garrett Metal Detector

The first step in using your new Garrett metal detector is to understand what you’re dealing with. Even if you’re not a fan of sitting down and reading owner’s manuals, you have to suffer through the boredom read about the parts, pieces, and operational features of your treasure hunting device. Once you’ve read through the instruction manual, it’s time to take it for a spin.

When it comes to metal detecting, practice makes perfect. Lay out a few small metal objects in your front or backyard, like coins and screws, and start out by focusing on these objects. This is the best way to learn how to use search modes, discrimination, ground balance, and target ID. As you progress to more advanced treasure hunting settings, follow these helpful tips:

  • Always remember the phrase “low and slow”; the search head should remain low to the ground hover slowly (never rush while metal detecting).
  • Familiarize yourself with the alert signals and pay close attention to the different sounds.
  • Be patient and understand that you might find more trash than treasure as you get started.
  • After your detector has found a target, use a pinpointer device (or the detector’s pinpointer function) to find the object’s exact location.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the best place to look for treasure with a Garrett metal detector?

A great starting point is in your front or backyard, but eventually, you'll want to move on to other locations. Any place that serves as a public gathering spot always has potential, like a public beach, local park, or popular hiking trail. Just remember to check the laws of your local area to make sure that metal detecting is allowed. For detecting on private property, always get permission from the landowner first.

How deep does a Garrett metal detector go?

This depends on the specific Garrett model you’re using. Top of the range detectors are typically capable of detecting at a greater depth, while affordable models won’t detect quite as deep. This has to do with the quality of the materials used and the overall construction. Another determining factor for depth detection is search coil size.

The larger the search coil, the greater the depth detection. The AT Pro has an 11” search coil, so it can detect small objects that are buried up to 11 inches deep. Because larger objects have a larger electromagnetic field, these can often be detected up to 2 or 3 feet deep. There’s no exact science to depth detection, though, since it can be affected by a high content of ground minerals.

How can I make a metal detector last longer?

The best way to get the most out of your Garrett metal detector is to follow the recommended maintenance steps. After each use, clean the device before storing it in a cool, dry place. If you plan on storing the detector for a while, always remove the batteries from the control housing.

Metal Detectors South Africa gives good advice for cleaning a metal detector:

 “After a hunt get a damp cloth and wipe down the coil and other areas of your metal detector (except the control housing). The control housing where the electronics and LCD screen are located is usually not waterproof. use a dry rag to dust off this section.”

Are there any Garrett metal accessories to help with metal detecting?

The most helpful metal detector accessory is a pinpointer device. A pinpointer serves the same function as a full-sized metal detector; only it's small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Using a pinpointer is helpful after you’ve landed on a target object, but need help in finding it’s exact location before burying it out of the ground.

If you don’t have a high-quality pair of headphones, get some. Garrett offers headphones with most of its products, including the AT Pro. Having a backpack or satchel is also helpful - after digging up your treasure, you need a safe place to store it. You might also consider investing in coil covers to protect your search coils.

Where is the best place to find top deals on Garrett metal detectors?

There is no place better than Amazon for finding the best deals on Garrett detectors and Garrett metal detector parts. Not only will you find the lowest prices, but Amazon is also a great tool for reading honest opinions from metal detectorists like yourself.


Conclusion

Each of the Garrett metal detectors we've covered has a set of advantages over the others. Whether you're looking for budget, top of the range, underwater, or on land, there's a Garrett device that can fit your needs. But if you're still not sure, the AT Pro is always a solid choice. It’s fairly priced and comes with all the necessary performance features for finding buried treasure on land or in shallow water. 

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