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Whole town gets in on marriage proposal after massive fail

A proposal is such a monumental moment for any couple, it’s only natural that the person doing the proposing would be nervous. Sometimes those nerves make seemingly simple tasks much trickier, and as such, accidents at the pivotal moment occasionally happen.

Sometimes they’re just little hiccups — for example, my fiancé had some trouble getting the ring out of the box when he proposed to me. And sometimes, shaky hands can cause a guy to drop the ring through a crack in a deck sending it down into the ocean below. Sadly, that’s exactly what happened to 25-year-old Matthew Picca when he was proposing to his girlfriend, 24-year-old Kayla Harrity.

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The couple was on vacation with Harrity’s family in Southport, North Carolina, when Picca decided to pop the question at one of their favorite restaurants right on the pier. He even invited his mother down for the occasion, and thought having her at the restaurant would be the perfect way to alert Harrity to the impending proposal. However, once the moment came, things didn’t go exactly as planned.

“I turned around and he was getting down on one knee,” Kayla told WBTV. “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.” Both Harrity and Picca were speechless, and not in a good way. However, that’s when a truly surprising and wonderful thing happened. Total strangers started jumping in the water in search of the lost ring.

“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.” Naturally Picca was one of the first to start the watery search, but his brother-in-law and sister also jumped in along with several more locals who just wanted to help save the special moment.

Picca plunged his smartphone in the water so that he could use the flashlight on it to find the ring, even though his case was definitely not waterproof. However, despite the stressful situation, he tried to keep his cool. He told the State Port Pilot, “I was devastated. It wasn’t insured yet — I had just gotten it this week. I was freaking out, but I didn’t want to show her that I was freaking out.”

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The search went on for two hours, before the tide started to come in, and it was looking like the ring was lost for good. But those scrappy locals from the bar refused to give up the search, despite the worsening conditions. Finally, Harrity was able to locate some goggles, and after that, the ring was found in 15 minutes. The man who found the ring was Kyle Blusher, whose birthday also happened to be that day. I can’t imagine a more wonderful gift than to be able to give such an important moment back to a couple.

By the time the ring was given back to Picca, there were tons of people on the dock. Kayla told WBTV, “Everyone at the bar was cheering. 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!”

The bride and groom-to-be bought everyone who helped a round of shots after the long-awaited proposal. Now, the couple is famous throughout Southport. What started out as potentially the biggest proposal fail ever, turned into one of the greatest stories of the couple’s (and perhaps the local townspeople’s) lives. The bar has now been set pretty high for their wedding, which the couple plan to have in Southport sometime next year. However, let’s hope the groom doesn’t drop the wedding rings off the pier this time.

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