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NAPLES, FL (WFLX) - A marriage proposal goes wrong after the engagement ring is lost in the Florida sand.
But staff at the Pelican Bay Resort in Naples, other beachgoers and one very special man helped saved the day. "He came down this ramp with this easy, confident smile," recalled Steve Carr.
Everybody's engagement story is special. "It was definitely a memorable experience," said Mary Naam.
But for Steve and Mary, it almost never happened. "I can't really see where the sandbar is," said Steve. "It's so under water now which is disconcerting."
While the couple was visiting Naples from Colorado, Steve had a foolproof plan. "I had gotten her parents' permission just a few days before, and I wanted it to happen on this trip."
He had buried the diamond ring in the sand, so she could find it digging. "It wasn't very smart. I wouldn't recommend doing something so risky," said a beachgoer.
Seconds of digging turned to minutes. "'I lost it, Mary, I lost it!' Kinda like that. 'It's gone,'" Steve said.
Pelican Bay staff and beachgoers helped the search. "By the end, we had a dozen people, I think, actively looking for a few hours," Mary recounted.
"Comical," said one beachgoer. "A little in disbelief that he had dropped a ring into the Gulf."
"In the back of your head, you're thinking, 'Oh yeah, but that stuff only happens in the movies and what not,'" laughed Steve.
What's worse is Steve Carr is Dr. Steve Carr -- a brain surgeon! "Probably not the smartest idea."
"Someone said, 'Ya know, this is a strange question to ask a stranger, but did she say yes?' And I said, 'I haven't asked her yet,'" said Steve.
Mary, of course, wanted to marry Steve, so she looked up ring finders on Google. Two hours later, Larry Spearing showed up. "And, we'd go back and forth and the tension was killing us," said Steve.
"We were digging, and we were digging, and, I thought, there was no way we were gonna find it," said Mary. "But Steve was determined."
A few minutes passed, until finally, there it was. "To be honest, I didn't really care about the expense of it all, the ring and what not, I just really wanted to be engaged with her at that point," said Steve.
"Yeah, you gotta feel sorry for the guy who's been digging around in the rain for a couple hours. How could you say no to that?" laughed Mary.
In case you had any doubt, she said yes. "In retrospect, I'm just glad it had a happy ending," said Steve.
Mary added, "And, it's never leaving my finger again."
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