R200 discount for liking us on FB
Durban - The Shelly Beach dive master who managed to keep his cool while drifting in the ocean for more than seven hours while a rescue crew, including his fiancée, searched for him, is now a married man.
Jean-Pierre Els, 30, and his fiancée, Crystal, tied the knot at the weekend at a Port Edward church in front of 43 of their closest friends and family, in an intimate ceremony.
Last month, Els was rescued by a Transnet port helicopter after he went missing while conducting a group charter dive.
Despite exhaustion, dehydration and sunburn, he was not injured and was not hospitalised.
In an interview a day after the rescue, he said his thoughts while drifting, were of his wedding and how his parents and fiancée were dealing with the news that he was missing.
Speaking to the Daily News at Uvongo Beach, where the bride and groom were posing for their wedding pictures, the couple said they met in December 2010 thanks to their shared diving interest.
They started dating in May 2011 and were engaged by April last year.
Crystal, who now works in property management, is a former dive master and skipper.
Although the gloomy and wet weather conditions were far from ideal on Saturday, the bride was nonetheless radiant – even after making a 200m dash in her sparkling white wedding dress across the beach as the heavens opened up.
“Since the day I met him I knew he was mine… actually I had a dream that he’d be my husband one day,” she said.
Reflecting on the rescue on February 26, she said she dropped everything she was doing and joined the rescue crew as they searched for hours in the ocean.
“I got on a boat to look for him. I was having conflicting thoughts, I was positive and negative, I was very nervous.
“I had to prepare for the worst, but I never lost faith he would be safe,” she said.
Jean-Pierre said it was a fantastic feeling to be married.
He said before he was rescued, he constantly thought about his fiancée.
“I was thinking, what if something happens to me, how will she (Crystal) deal with those emotions?
“To be 12 days away from a wedding and not be able to get married.
“I was more worried about what would happen to her than what would happen to me,” he said.
“It’s an amazing feeling. At church it was hard to hold back my tears of joy, such a wonderful feeling and just to know we could do it in the presence of God was more overwhelming,” he said.
The couple will be spending their honeymoon at Sodwana Bay and the Kruger National Park.