Two lovers were rescued as they drifted out to sea following a romantic marriage proposal in a rowing boat. The couple were dressed in full evening wear and had enjoyed a champagne picnic as they set out from Cromer in Norfolk, coastguards said.
But the alarm was raised on Friday night after onlookers from Cromer Pier saw the boat more than a mile from the beach in windy conditions. The couple were rescued and brought back to shore by a small fishing boat.
"The inshore lifeboat was launched but, fortunately, there was a small fishing boat nearby and they brought them back safely," said a coastguard spokeswoman. "The coastguards were quite surprised when they met the couple. "Instead of the normal garb, they had evening wear on. It wasn't quite what they expected to find.
"He had a black bow tie and a waistcoat and she had a flowy dress. "It had been a romantic trip - he had proposed and she had accepted. Obviously, congratulations are in order. He had done the full works - picnic, champagne, flowers - but in the meantime they had got a mile-and-a-half out to sea."
The spokeswoman said the couple, from Cromer, who both described themselves as strong swimmers, had not realised how far out they had drifted. "They were under the assumption that they were absolutely fine," she said. "Apparently the gentleman said: 'It's ok, I'm a surfer, I know about these things'. They were brought ashore and they then decided to go on up the beach to have a picnic. They were quite relaxed about it."