LAKE WINDERMERE, England -- Forget finding a needle in a haystack, how about finding an engagement ring at the bottom of England's largest lake?
Freediver Angus Hosking answered the call when couple Rebecca Chaukria and Viki Patel lost their diamond ring off the end of a jetty on Lake Windermere, in the Lake District, northwest England, just two days after getting engaged.
The couple were having photographs taken when the ring slipped off Chaukria's finger on Monday. The couple initially tried to use the photographer's tripod to reach the ring but it only pushed it further into the mud at the bottom of the lake, Hosking told CNN in a phone call on Saturday.
Patel told CNN he panicked when the ring fell in and tried to rescue it himself but the water was "absolutely freezing" and he couldn't see a thing.
Hosking heard about the couple's plight via a friend and rushed down to the jetty as soon as he finished work. The 21-year-old had been helping to clear trash from the Lakes for three and a half years and set up the group Lake District Diving with his friend Declan Turner to tackle the problem.
It's not the first time he has been asked to rescue valuables in the process, and he told CNN he knew only too well that 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 just all silt -- really 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 a few false positives, Hosking scooped up the ring.
Patel described Hosking as a "brilliant guy" and said his fiancee was "speechless" when he emerged with the ring. "Now she's never taking it off," he joked.
Hosking said Patel "couldn't stop saying 'thank you.' He just kept on saying it, it was brilliant."
Patel had planned to propose on five different occasions -- but they had all been scuppered by coronavirus restrictions.
Patel said if restrictions allow he would love to invite Hosking to their wedding in August.
Lost engagement ring found at bottom of England's largest lake by freediver
More TOP STORIES News