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December 05, 2008

Worst Story of the Week: Man Arranges to Propose to Beloved on Romantic Ocean Beach; Wave Sweeps Down and Takes Her Out to Sea, Never to be Seen Again

They met on the internet, incidentally.

A romantic marriage proposal on the Oregon coast turned deadly for the bride-to-be when a wave swept her out to sea.

Scott Napper planned to pop the question to Leafil Alforque, 22, at a spot near Neskowin Beach that got its name from couples ready to marry.

Napper said the tide had receded around Proposal Rock on Saturday when the couple began to walk to it. He planned to propose and give her the ring he carried in his pocket.

About 10 feet from the rock, a wave around 3 feet high suddenly came toward them.

"I turned into it to keep from getting pulled under it," Napper said.

By the time he turned to find Alforque, only 4-foot-11 and 93 pounds, she had been caught by the receding waters.

"She was about 30 feet away, getting swept away," Napper said.

The 45-year-old Silverton man tore off his jacket to get rid of any extra weight, and when he looked up again she was gone.

"That's the last I saw of her," he said Wednesday, breaking into tears.

Emergency personnel called by someone on the beach arrived within minutes. His own phone no longer worked after being exposed to the water.

Along with rescuers, he searched for any sign of Alforque.

"I yelled for her," he said. "I was praying to God."


...

Thick fog and dangerous water conditions hampered the rescue efforts before the search was called off Monday.

Locals hope to mitigate the damage done to the site's reputation, through rebranding. The town is debating changing the rock's name from "Proposal Rock" to "Xtreme Proposal Rock."

"It's just a matter of marketing and brand-positioning," one councilman said.


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posted by Ace at 04:06 PM

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