<!--[if IE]><![endif]-->
Africa
Africa

Man drowns during underwater marriage proposal

  • 21 September 2019
Steven Weber was filmed proposing to his girlfriend off the coast of Tanzania Image copyright Kenesha Antoine Image caption Kenesha Antoine filmed Steven Weber's romantic marriage proposal off Pemba Island, Tanzania

An American man has drowned while proposing to his girlfriend underwater on holiday in Tanzania.

Steven Weber and his girlfriend, Kenesha Antoine, were staying in a submerged cabin at the Manta Resort, off Pemba Island.

Footage shows Mr Weber diving under water to ask Ms Antoine to marry him.

In the video, Mr Weber presses a hand-written proposal note against the cabin window as Ms Antoine films from inside.

Ms Antoine, confirming Mr Weber's death in a Facebook post, said he "never emerged from those depths".

Image copyright Kenesha Antoine on Facebook Image caption Kenesha Antoine and Steven Weber were on a "once-in-a-lifetime" trip when the accident happened

The Manta Resort told the BBC Mr Weber "tragically drowned while free diving alone outside the underwater room" on Thursday afternoon.

"It is with the deepest regret that we inform that a fatal accident occurred at The Manta Resort on Thursday 19 September, 2019," the resort said in a statement.

Matthew Saus, CEO of the resort, said "everyone is shaken to the core" by Mr Weber's death.

Image copyright Kenesha Antoine on Facebook Image caption Zanzibar police are investigating the circumstances of Steven Weber's death

Mr Weber and Ms Antoine had booked four nights at the resort's underwater room, which lies approximately 250m (820ft) from the shore.

Costing $1,700-a-night (£1,300), the cabin is anchored in water around 10m (32ft) deep.

On the third day of their stay, Mr Weber, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, plunged into the water to make his proposal.

Wearing a mask and fins, he held a note against the cabin's glass window as Ms Antoine watched on from within.

His note read: "I can't hold my breath long enough to tell you everything I love about you. But… everything I love about you, I love more every day!"

Image copyright Kenesha Antoine on Facebook Image caption Mr Weber wrote "I can't hold my breath long" in his proposal note

Later in the video, Mr Weber turns over the sheet of paper to reveal the proposal, before pulling an engagement ring from his shorts and swimming out of view.

Mr Saus told the BBC his staff responded to a "problem in the water", but when they arrived "absolutely nothing could be done".

Image copyright The Manta Resort Image caption The Manta Resort's underwater room costs $1,700-a-night (£1,300)

In her Facebook post, Ms Antoine said Mr Weber "never got to hear her answer" to his proposal, which would have been "a million times, yes".

"We never got to embrace and celebrate the beginning of the rest of our lives together, as the best day of our lives turned into the worst, in the cruellest twist of fate imaginable," she wrote.

"I will try to take solace in the fact that we enjoyed the most amazing bucket list experiences these past few days, and that we both were so happy and absolutely giddy with excitement in our final moments together."

The US Department of State said it is aware of the death of a US citizen in Tanzania, in East Africa.

"We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss," a spokesperson said. "We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance."

Related Topics

More on this story

  • British man drowns in Austrian lake after suffering cramp in foot
    8 August 2019
  • Southend bartender dies swimming in Costa Del Sol
    4 July 2019
  • France campsite death: Hull boy, 12, 'drowned while swimming with brother'
    27 August 2019

Top Stories

MPs' vote on Brexit deal ruled out by Speaker

The government says it is disappointed, but will go ahead with introducing legislation putting the deal into law.

21 October 2019
William 'worried' about Harry after interview
21 October 2019
NI parties fail in bid to stop abortion law change
21 October 2019

Features

Do voters support Boris Johnson's Brexit deal?

The Circle winner: 'People say I've given disabled kids hope'

Lebanon protests: 'We have the right to live in this beauty'

How it feels to be the only Grindr user in the village

MPs vote on Brexit deal: Your questions answered

Actors support Katie Jarvis after taking 'normal job'

Three generations under one roof to beat the housing crisis

Video

Black hole scientist bounces back from trolling

Video

Forgiving the Sri Lanka bombers

Elsewhere on the BBC