Windermere engagement ring find freediver ‘a brilliant man’on May 29, 2021 at 7:55 am

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A couple pay tribute to Angus Hosking, who located their ring after it fell into Windermere.

Viki Patel popping the question to Rebecca Chaukria

image copyrightDreamshot Photography/Shiv Patel

A newly engaged couple whose engagement ring fell into a lake have paid tribute to the “amazing” diver who found it.

Viki Patel popped the question to Rebecca Chaukria and gave her the white gold and diamond ring during a trip to the Lake District on Saturday.

Two days later, while on a jetty overlooking Windermere, it slipped off her finger and fell into the water.

They feared it was lost forever, but freediver Angus Hosking was able to locate it after a 20-minute search.

Angus Hosking returning the ring

image copyrightAngus Hosking

Mr Patel, 25, from Edmonton, north London, proposed to Ms Chaukria, 26, from 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 sparkling jewel.

The occasion had been delayed about five times as previous trips were postponed because of travel restrictions.

On Monday they returned to the same location for more photographs on the jetty.

The engagement ring

image copyrightAngus Hosking

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.

Angus Hosking finding the ring

image copyrightAngus Hosking

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 fiancée was waiting and presented her with the ring.

Mr Patel said: “She was really happy, but also a bit in shock and didn’t say much.

“Later she said to me ‘I wasn’t expecting it, I just didn’t have the words’.”

Angus and Declan also try to return dropped belongings to members of the public.

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.

“He really is a brilliant, brilliant man.”

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