A soon-to-be-wed couple have hailed an “amazing” diver after he found their lost engagement ring at the bottom of a lake.
Viki Patel, 25, proposed to Rebecca Chaukria, 26, with the £4,500 white gold-and-diamond ring during a trip to the Lake District, Cumbria, last Saturday.
But when they returned to the jetty overlooking Windermere on Monday it slipped off her finger and into the lake.
Distraught Mr Patel, of Edmonton, north London, feared the precious ring was lost forever.
But after hearing of their plight, local underwater diver Angus Hosking – who often carries out litter picks on the lake – found it in 20 minutes with a metal detector
Mr Patel said: “He was scouting around for a while, and I was starting to get worried.
“Then he emerged from the water with a smile, saying ‘I think we have it’.”
They went back to the hotel where his fiancee was waiting and presented her again with the ring.
Mr Patel said: “She was really happy, but also a bit in shock. Later she said to me ‘I wasn’t expecting it, I just didn’t have the words’.”
He was full of praise for Mr Hosking and the Lake Diving team who 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 which made me feel a bit better. He really is a brilliant, brilliant man.”
Mr Patel proposed to Ms Chaukria, who lives in Birmingham, while they were having their photographs taken on the shores of the lake on Saturday evening.
He got down on one knee and presented her with the glittering jewellery after the weekend was delayed five times due to Covid travel restrictions.
Two days later they returned to the same location for more photographs on the jetty.
Mr Patel said: “We got up and her hand went forward a bit and the ring completely slipped off and plopped into the lake about two metres ahead.
“We saw it sink and could just about see it shining at the bottom.
“I completely panicked and began undressing to jump in but Rebecca said ‘no don’t do that’, so I ran back to the hotel to get shorts and a vest.
“There was a water sports place which I thought might have goggles.
“When I explained the situation to them they told me about Lake District Diving and Angus and Declan.”
The divers, who carry out underwater litter picks, are often called upon to retrieve lost possessions.
But believing that time was of the essence, Mr Patel initially decided to look for it himself and waded into the “absolutely freezing” water.
“I lost all hope once I saw how the bottom was all mushy,” he said.
They then contacted Mr Hosking who brought along an underwater metal detector and found it.