CNN  — 

The sister of the man who drowned while making an underwater marriage proposal to his girlfriend in Tanzania says he was “a beautiful soul.”

Mandy Weber Hoffman said her brother Steven Weber had been planning the unique proposal for his girlfriend Kenesha Antoine for some time.

“The trip had been planned for almost a year, and they were very much looking forward to it,” Mandy Weber Hoffman told CNN’s “New Day” on Monday. “We knew that he wanted to propose to her and he decided that this was the most wonderful time to do it. (It was) the trip of a lifetime, and (he) really wanted to surprise Kenesha with this proposal.”

The proposal

Weber and Antoine were staying in Pemba Island, CNN affiliate WBRZ reports, in a wooden cabin with a bedroom submerged in the ocean off the east coast of Africa.

Weber proposed Thursday by swimming underwater and holding a handwritten note against a bedroom window, according to a video Antoine posted Friday on Facebook.

After the proposal Antoine ran up to the top of the cabin to meet him and embrace him, Mandy Weber Hoffman said, but he never came back up to the surface.

“We don’t know yet if he was injured on the way up, if he hit his head on something or if he had a heart attack,” she said. “We really don’t know all of the details yet, other than he did drown.”

Antoine was unable to reach anyone at the resort where they were staying for help, so she ended up flagging down some passing boaters, who pulled Weber out of the water and tried to revive him. The family is waiting for an autopsy report to get a better idea of what happened to him.

Mandy Weber Hoffman said Antoine is “devastated and distraught”

A cruel twist of fate