A newly engaged Indian-origin couple in the UK whose engagement ring fell into water have praised a “brilliant” diver who found it from the bottom of England’s largest natural lake.
Viki Patel, 25, from Edmonton, north London, proposed to Rebecca Chaukria, 26, from Birmingham, while they were having their photographs taken on the shores of the Windermere lake last week.
Mr Patel popped the question to Rebecca Chaukria and gave her the white gold and diamond ring during a trip to the Lake District. On May 24, they returned to the same location for more photographs on the jetty.
The couple were having photographs taken when the ring slipped off Ms Chaukria’s finger and fell into the water, the BBC reported.
The occasion had been delayed about five times as previous trips were postponed because of COVID-19 travel restrictions in the country.
The panicked couple initially tried to use the photographer’s tripod to reach the ring but it only pushed it further into the mud at the bottom of the lake in northwest England.
Mr Patel said he panicked when the ring fell in and tried to rescue it himself but the water was very cold and he could not see a thing.
Freediver Angus Hosking heard about the couple’s plight from a friend and rushed down to the jetty as soon as he finished work.
The 21-year-old had been helping to clear trash from the Lakes for three and a half years and set up the group Lake District Diving with his friend Declan Turner to tackle the problem.
“As soon as I put my head under the water the visibility was absolutely terrible so it didn’t fill me with confidence. I couldn’t see anything,” Mr Hosking told CNN.
“It was just all silt — really fine mud — even if you drop a penny it goes straight to the bottom,” he said.
Luckily after 20 minutes searching with an underwater metal detector and a few false positives, Mr Hosking scooped up the ring.
Mr Patel described Hosking as a “brilliant guy” and said his fiancee was “speechless” when he emerged with the ring. “Now she’s never taking it off,” he joked.
He was full of praise for Mr Hosking and the Lake District Diving team, not just for helping people but also for their work cleaning up the environment, funded solely by donations.
“I gave something to their funding page, but he wouldn’t take anything personally,” Mr Patel said.
“So, after taking him home I popped into a shop and bought a bottle of gin for him and his partner, which made me feel a bit better.”
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