The couple walked hand-in-hand toward Proposal Rock, ankle-deep in water Saturday afternoon.
The tide had receded around the iconic -- and aptly named -- rock formation near Neskowin Beach, and 45-year-old Scott Napper of Silverton hoped to use the opportunity to formally ask 22-year-old Leafil Alforque to marry him.
When Alforque suggested they climb the rock itself, Napper said Wednesday, he thought it was "perfect, because that's exactly what I wanted to do."
The couple met through an Internet dating site in 2005 and had set a wedding date for Dec. 6. But Napper said Proposal Rock was the spot he wanted to ask for Alforque's hand in marriage ceremonially and give her the ring that waited in his pocket.
Alforque had arrived in Silverton just three days earlier on a fiancee visa from the Philippines. It was her first visit to the Oregon coast.
At some point during the walk to the rock, the two let go of each other's hands. From the angle they took walking toward the formation, Napper said, "you can't see the waves coming in."
About 10 feet from the rock, a wave 2- to 3-feet high suddenly came toward them.
"I turned into it to keep from getting pulled under it," he said. The water receded in a few seconds, and he turned to look for the diminutive Alforque, 4-foot-11 and 93 pounds. By then, he said, "She was about 30 feet away, getting swept away."
-- Desiree Aflleje; firstname.lastname@example.org
Kimberly A.C. Wilson and Helen Jung of The Oregonian contributed to this report.
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