"I thought, 'This can’t be happening.' Like, that didn’t just happen," Marlee Kent recalled

By Joelle Goldstein
March 24, 2021 02:22 PM
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A pair of newlyweds are expressing their gratitude for a kind stranger after he jumped into a chilly lake to recover their lost wedding ring.

Andrew and Marlee Kent were tying the knot on the pier of Sugar Pine Beach, overlooking Lake Tahoe, when the surreal incident unfolded, CBS affiliate KOVR reported.

As shown in footage obtained by the outlet, the Vancouver, Washington couple was standing on the windy pier and had just exchanged their vows in an emotional moment.

Andrew then took out his bride's ring but can be seen fumbling with it before the ring falls into the cracks of the pier.

"Honestly, I thought, 'This can't be happening,'" Marlee recalled to KOVR of the moment. "Like that didn't just happen."

Added Andrew: "Like, what are the chances?"

Though the wedding ceremony came to a halt, the video recording continued as Marlee and Andrew got down on their hands and knees and desperately searched for the ring.

Eventually, the pair were able to spot the piece of jewelry in the clear lake waters — and Andrew said he was prepared to take the plunge, KOVR reported.

"My first thought was like, 'How deep is it, how cold is it?'" the groom explained to the outlet.

But the couple's pastor urged him not to enter the frigid lake, and so, they carried on with their ceremony sans-ring, according to KOVR.

Later on, the newlyweds told the outlet they turned to a Lake Tahoe scuba diving Facebook group and asked if anyone would be willing to help them recover their ring.

Outdoor adventurer Phill Abernathy was the one to answer their plea, and it wasn't long before the kind stranger was in the chilly lake, according to KOVR.

"The water was 41 degrees, [a] dry suit was needed," Abernathy recalled to the outlet, adding that he had to be careful when entering the lake because he didn't want the current to move the ring.

"We start to move some of the little rocks out of the way and obviously, as we start to move them some silt starts to form," he continued.

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Abernathy eventually spotted the ring between rocks but said he had to fight off a crawdad in order to get it, according to the outlet.

Once in his possession, Abernathy recalled thinking "Don't drop the ring!" as he carefully brought the piece of jewelry back to the surface, KOVR reported.

"That's the best feeling in the world," Abernathy told KOVR. "Everyone goes nuts, 'Hurray!'"

As the couple reflects on the surreal experience, they both believe this will be a memory that sticks with them forever.

"I'm so thankful to have my ring back but either way it's a great story to tell our kids one day," Marlee explained to KOVR. "And makes the day more memorable."

"Now it's a ring and a story!" added Andrew.