Courtesy of Proposal Rock Inn
Visitors often walk to Proposal Rock at low tide
Wednesday December 03, 2008, 9:31 PM
The couple walked hand-in-hand toward Proposal Rock, ankle-deep in water Saturday afternoon.
The tide had receded around the iconic -- and aptly named -- rock formation near Neskowin Beach, and 45-year-old Scott Napper of Silverton hoped to use the opportunity to formally ask 22-year-old Leafil Alforque to marry him.
When Alforque suggested they climb the rock itself, Napper said Wednesday, he thought it was "perfect, because that's exactly what I wanted to do."
The couple met through an Internet dating site in 2005 and had set a wedding date for Dec. 6. But Napper said Proposal Rock was the spot he wanted to ask for Alforque's hand in marriage ceremonially and give her the ring that waited in his pocket.
Alforque had arrived in Silverton just three days earlier on a fiancee visa from the Philippines. It was her first visit to the Oregon coast.
At some point during the walk to the rock, the two let go of each other's hands. From the angle they took walking toward the formation, Napper said, "you can't see the waves coming in."
About 10 feet from the rock, a wave 2- to 3-feet high suddenly came toward them.
"I turned into it to keep from getting pulled under it," he said. The water receded in a few seconds, and he turned to look for the diminutive Alforque, 4-foot-11 and 93 pounds. By then, he said, "She was about 30 feet away, getting swept away."
Leafil AlforqueHe said he immediately tore off his jacket to get rid of any extra weight, and when he looked up again she was gone.
"That's the last I saw of her," he said Wednesday, breaking into tears.
He said he felt panicked and ran up on the rocks nearby for a better view.
"I yelled for her," he said. "I was praying to God."
He said emergency personnel called by a someone on the beach arrived within minutes. His own phone no longer worked after being exposed to the water.
Along with rescuers, he searched for any sign of Alforque. At one point, he saw someone wearing red -- the color of her jacket -- on the shore signaling for him. For a moment, he said, he thought the nightmare was over. But as he got closer he realized it was a rescuer.
"It wasn't her," he said softly.
Thick fog and dangerous water conditions hampered the rescue efforts as darkness encroached.
After another day, the search was officially suspended Monday. That was also the day 25-year-old Nova Alforque, back in the Philippines, learned of her sister's disappearance.
"She's missing five days now," Nova Alforque said on Wednesday. "My mother is always crying, day and night. She wants my sister back. Even if she is dead, she wants her body to bury."
The Tillamook County Sheriff's Office is routinely checking the beach and looking for possible witnesses, said Sheriff Todd Anderson. Police don't suspect foul play, he said.
Napper said that he and Leafil Alforque had been dating online for two years, and that they met in person for the first time in January when he spent three weeks in the Philippines.
"We got along so well, she was such a kind loving girl," he said. "She would say things like, 'Thank you for loving me.'"
Napper said he plans to go to the lower north falls near Silverton on Saturday -- the couple's planned wedding day -- to say a prayer and put on his ring.
"I still close my eyes and see her reaching out to me," he said.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Courtesy of Proposal Rock Inn
Posted by Whirlwind at 3:14 PM