Some men get down on one knee. Others have proposed at football games on live TV. Then there is Blake Buck of Wahpeton. When he decided to ask his girlfriend to marry him, he did more than go above and beyond - he went under…the ice.
Kellie O' Leary has an engagement story of the century to share with her little kindergarten students in Breckenridge, Minnesota. The day she went out to fish with a boyfriend, and instead reeled in a fiancé.
Kellie O’Leary – Engaged On Otter Tail Lake: “It was a portable and I had to help him set it up.”
It started as a normal day out on Otter Tail Lake with Kellie and Blake hoping to land a lunker. Except on this day of fishing Blake convinced Kellie no bait was needed - sportsmen's strategy.
Kellie O’Leary: “He put my line down and, I guess now looking back he said that, “They’re catching a lot of perch without bait.”
What Kellie did not know is Blake's friends - SCUBA divers - were 70 feet away under a portable fish house with a large hole cut in the ice big enough for a SCUBA diver.
Blake's good friend Mike Metzger, who dives with Valley Water Rescue, agreed to help pull off the proposal under the ice.
Mike Metzger: “I didn’t want to take that doggone ring down. I mean he just nonchalantly said, “Here’s the ring.”
Mike's big concern was he prepared to make the dive was losing the diamond. In fact, he tried to talk Blake into taking down a plastic ring or dime store diamond, but Blake wouldn’t hear of it.
Mike Metzger: “Right here and I did not let go. I had the doggone fish with me.”
And how do you get an expensive diamond on a fishing hook? Genius.
Mike Metzger: “We had this black and yellow plastic fish that Blake found. We zip tied the ring to the dorsal fin and then had a zip tie in the mouth that we were going to use to attach the lure.”
Under the ice Mike swam 70 feet, trying to find Kellie's lure.
Kellie O’Leary: “These bubbles started coming out of the water and, I don’t know, I thought it was kind of funny and he said, “It has been like that this this year.”
Kellie O’Leary: “I saw it go down. I saw it go down really fast and I’m thinking, “Wow, all these bubbles, it went down really fast, I’m really going to catch a big fish.” So then I pulled it up and I was scared. I thought it was a decoy. It was this big plastic black and yellow and fish. I just was kind of staring at it and I didn’t know what was going on….then I saw my ring on it.”
After a quick wash in Otter Tail Lake the diamond is safe on Kellie O’Leary’s left hand. Romance lured her in, and she will forever remember the bubbling lake that turned a mundane day of fishing into a lifetime of love.
The wedding for Blake and Kellie is set for this summer.