MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – Marriage is sometimes called taking the plunge, but one Connecticut couple took that literally off the Grand Strand coast last Saturday.
Tricia Galinski and Mike Flannery have dated for about three years, meeting each other just outside of Hartford.
“We met at a friend’s Christmas party,” Galinski said. “My sister really liked Mike, so she was setting us up.”
Tricia Galinski learned to scuba dive in college. She went to High Point University, while Mike went to Coastal Carolina University.
She didn’t think she’d use her tank after graduation until she met Mike.
“I end up dating him and he’s an avid diver, so I actually did use it quite a bit,” she said.
They enjoy mountain biking and snowboarding, but for them, nothing beats going below sea level.
“Every vacation we took, we went scuba diving, so we made sure we came here usually twice a year to dive,” said Flannery.
They returned last weekend, 25 miles off the coast, for their most memorable dive. Mike decided to propose to Tricia.
Mike says it was the perfect surprise.
“She’s like, ‘I want to do it somewhere I can make sure I look good when I come back to the boat and I want to really make sure that you say something beautiful to me,'” he said. “I made sure that her hair was wet, she had no makeup and I didn’t have to say a word.”
You can’t actually say the four big words when you’re more than 50 feet underwater, so Mike improvised with a dive slate and a special marker that can write underwater.
“It said, “Will you marry me?” and (he had) the ring, so I couldn’t get my glove off fast enough,” said Galinski.
Tricia scribbled a yes and put on the fake ring, in case it fell and became another stone on the ocean floor.
“Every time we go diving now, I’ll expect a ring,” Galinski laughed.
The real one was at the surface, as Tricia and Mike begin their next steps and swims in life.
“We’re planning on going to Antigua in a couple months,” said Galinski.
“Yeah, we’re heading down there to do some diving as well,” Flannery added.
“I know what you two are going to do on your honeymoon, right?” Chris Spiker asked.
“Yeah, safe to say,” Flannery laughed.
Mike actually proposed to Tricia at the Chris Chong memorial artificial reef, which was sunk earlier this month. Mike only worked with Chong briefly before Mike left Express Watersports to move to Colorado.
Mike said, however, it was an honor to visit the touching memorial to one of his fellow divers.