Zachary man drowns while attempting elaborate marriage proposal
TANZANIA - What should have been a time of celebration turned to heartbreak for a Baton Rouge-area couple vacationing outside the country.
Kenesha Antoine said Friday that her boyfriend, Steven Weber, died while trying to pull off an underwater marriage proposal at a beach in Tanzania.
Antoine said in a social media post Friday that the two were vacationing at an elaborate cabin with a submerged bedroom, including windows looking out into the water.
Video shared by Antoine shows Weber swimming up to the glass with handwritten messages culminating in the proposal.
The note read the following:
At the end of the video, Weber pulls out a ring as Antoine is heard joyfully exclaiming, "yes!" Weber is seen swimming out of frame, but his girlfriend says he did not make it back to the surface.
"Yes, we were, my perfect love, my angel, my soul. Yes, we were, and I will carry the blessing of the love we shared with me forever," Antoine said in her post. "I will find you and marry you in the next lifetime, and the next, and the next, and the next... I love you so much, and I always will.
The emotional social media post includes the last moments of Weber's life.
Antoine told CNN, after the proposal she ran to the top of the cabin to meet her fiance, but he was nowhere in sight. She said she was wasn't able to reach anyone at the resort for help so she ended up flagging down some passing boats. Those boaters were able to pull Weber out of the water and tried to revive him.
The sister of Steven Weber described her brother as a beautiful soul and that he had been planning the elaborate proposal for awhile. Mandy Weber Hoffman said they knew about the trip year ago.
"We knew that he wanted to propose to her and he decided that this was the most wonderful time to do it. (It was) the trip of a lifetime, and (he) really wanted to surprise Kenesha with this proposal," Mandy said.
The Department of State confirmed to WBRZ Friday that a U.S. tourist had died in Tanzania, but could offer few other details.
According to CNN the Manta Resort where the couple was staying released the following statement:
"Our sincerest condolences, thoughts and prayers are with his girlfriend, families and friends impacted by this tragic accident," said Matthew Saus, the resort's CEO.
The Zachary High School Class of 1997 created a GoFundMe to raise money to return Steven's body to the United States and for burial expenses. Click here for more information or to donate.
A fundraising event has been scheduled for September 28 in honor of Steven. There will be a silent auction, raffle, and more. The event will be held at the 2854 Kalarah St. Anyone with items they wish to auction can call 225-939-8232.