Outside a restaurant on the Cape Fear River in a romantic area of Southport, Picca knelt on the dock to surprise Kayla — and before he could even get a word of his proposal out, he accidentally dropped the ring into the murky, dark water!!!
"As he opened the ring box, the ring fell out of the box and fell through the cracks on the deck and into the water. I didn't even get to see it before it dropped. I covered my face and began to cry because I knew my boyfriend was devastated. Matthew did not even get to say anything to me before the ring fell into the ocean."
The proposal quickly turned into a search and rescue mission as Matthew, Kayla, and several strangers from the restaurant's bar that had witnessed the incident spent more than an hour and a half waist deep in the river:
Kayla and Matthew enlisted the help of locals who brought goggles, underwater flashlights, and whatever else they could get their hands on to help the recovery. Kayla said:
"At the bar, there were three men who were enjoying a beer who saw the whole thing. They must have felt bad for us and did not want to see our engagement end like this. They jumped in the water and helped look for the ring. I began running to the neighboring restaurants asking if anyone had goggles. I knew if we had some we could find the ring."
There's a happy ending to this, though… after an hour and a half, the ring was found!!
A man named Kyle Blusher found it at the bottom of the river, and Kayla and Matthew's night was saved:
"All of a sudden, everyone was chanting 'Propose again! Do it again!' It was the best feeling in the world. My fiancé, soaking wet, smelling like salty, fishing water, proceeded to get down on one knee and put the beautiful ring on my finger! We walked upstairs and bought the men who helped us a round of shots. They were amazing and we are so grateful to have their help that night."
What an incredible — and unlikely — proposal story!