California Firefighter Pranks Girlfriend During Skydiving Proposal

The firefighter dropped the ring when he was 12,500 feet in the air.

July 9, 2014, 2:22 PM

— -- Brandon Strohbehn, 32, and Nicole Nepomuceno, 29, share a passion for skydiving. When the Orange County, California, firefighter decided to pop the big question to his girlfriend of 18 months, he knew it had to happen when the two were freefalling from 12,500 feet.

“I have done 229 jumps and 224 of them were done together with her [Nepomuceno],” Strohbehn told ABC News. “It’s the main thing we do together.”

The stunt took several months’ planning with help from family and friends. Strohbehn convinced Nepomuceno that they were going to do a jump to celebrate her birthday.

After the couple jumped from the plane in the face-to-face position, Strohbehn dug out the ring that was hiding in his pocket and was getting ready to propose when he dropped the ring.

Nepomuceno’s jaws dropped.

“I was like: ‘What the heck?’” Nepomuceno told ABC News. Then she realized it was all a prank by Strohbehn, as he remained calm and didn't even bother to look at the ring that slipped away from his fingers.

The ring was a $9 fake bought on Amazon, and the real wedding ring was waiting on the ground when the couple landed safely.

“At first, it scared me,” Nepomuceno chuckled. “But then I saw that he didn't react at all, so I knew it was a prank.”

After the two landed, they were joined by family and friends who had been secretly waiting.

Strohbehn got down on one knee as Nepomuceno wiped away her tears. “Nicole, I want to spend my life with you. Will you marry me?” Strohbehn asked.

“Of course,” Nepomuceno said, then gently nudged Strohbehn’s shoulder with her helmet.

“The proposal was amazing. I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Nepomuceno said.

Strohbehn said his mutual friends with Nepomuceno had always tried to set the two up.

“We didn’t want to be set up on a blind date,” Strohbehn said. “One time, we just met at a country bar by chance, and we started talking.” The two soon began dating. “We have so much fun together,” Strohbehn said.

They are planning a wedding next July, and are positive it will be on land.