Eric Barretto popped the question during a hot air balloon adventure and his girlfriend, Ashley King said 'Yes.' They were the picture of happiness.
Suddenly, without warning, disaster struck.
Ashley told INSIDE EDITION, "We just sat there in a panic."
Watch INSIDE EDITION's Interview with Barretto and King
Unexpected winds blew the balloon off course and out to sea. The pilot tried to land in the Pacific Ocean not far from San Diego, hoping that incoming waves would wash them to shore.
Ashley said, "I started asking the pilot a bunch of questions, asking 'Are we going to be able to go back down?' 'How long does it take to go back down?' Because he looked a little frantic which made me start to get nervous."
Eric recalled, "The pilot said, 'If you have any prayers say them now' and that's when I think my heart dropped and we looked at each other and were like, okay this is happening."
Video shot from the beach documented the drama when the balloon basket dipped in and out of the ocean.
"A couple of times I asked if I could jump into the water because I just wanted out of the basket. He told me, 'no,' " said Ashley.
"He said he needed our weight to keep the basket down because if she jumped out it would probably pop us back up and we would go further out," explained Eric.
Everyone on the beach joined in the rescue, grabbing lines hanging from the basket and then hauling it in.
Eric said, "We definitely felt more safe when we actually saw people below us wanting to help."
Eric wanted the balloon ride to be a memorable proposal. He sure succeeded, saying, "We couldn't believe that happened to us."