Pedestrian Angus Hosking answered the call when Rebecca Chaukria and Viki Patel lost their diamond ring at the end of a jetty on Lake Windermere, in the Lake District, north-west of England, just two days after committing.
The couple were being photographed when the ring slipped off Chaukria’s finger on Monday. The couple initially tried to use the photographer’s tripod to get to the ring, but only pushed it further into the mud at the bottom of the lake, Hosking told CNN on Saturday.
Patel told CNN he panicked when the ring fell and tried to rescue him himself, but the water was “absolutely frozen” and he saw nothing.
Hosking heard about the couple’s situation through a friend and ran to the pier as soon as he finished work. The 21-year-old had been helping take garbage out of the lakes for three-and-a-half years and set up the Lake District Diving group with his friend Declan Turner to tackle the problem.
It’s not the first time he’s been asked to rescue valuables in the process and he told CNN he knew all too well it could take minutes or hours.
“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,” Hosking explained.
“It was all slime (very fine mud), even if you drop a penny, it goes straight to the bottom,” he added.
Fortunately, after 20 minutes searching with an underwater metal detector and some false positives, Hosking grabbed the ring.
Patel described Hosking as a “brilliant boy” and said his promise was “blown away” when he came out with the ring. “Now she never takes it off,” he joked.
Hosking said Patel “couldn’t stop saying ‘thank you.’ He kept saying it, it was great.”
Patel had planned to propose it on five different occasions, but all had been swept away by coronavirus restrictions.
Patel said if restrictions allow, she would love to invite Hosking to her wedding in August.