Patrick Cooke –
Diver Sean McGahern did not just earn a place in Guinness World Records when he spent over 12 hours underwater on March 4 – he also gained a fiancée after writing a marriage proposal to his girlfriend on an underwater slate.
His girlfriend of five months, Mikaela Papagiorcopulo, was underwater with him in St George’s Bay when the proposal was made, as she had joined him for one hour of his record-breaking dive. “She responded with a lot of excited bubbles,” recalled Mr McGahern chuckling.
Taken completely by surprise, Ms Papagiorcopulo nodded her acceptance and the couple shared an underwater embrace, but when Mr McGahern later emerged from the sea as a world record holder, she had to check nothing fishy was going on.
“Hardly anyone else seemed to know he was going to ask me, so I had to confirm he was serious,” she laughed.
Mr McGahern said he knew his new fiancée was the one for him even before they started going out together. They met in a bar where she used to take photographs and he worked as security, and he wooed her for weeks before they started dating.
“I had been waiting for the right time to propose and I told a few safety divers that I was thinking of doing it during the record attempt – they were concerned I’d get distracted.
But when it became clear the attempt was likely to succeed, I went for it,” he said.
“Mikaela’s acceptance of my marriage proposal has given me an even better reason to always remember that special day.”