Dr. Jim Sears proposes after crossing the PacificAugust 31, 2011
By Mark Carpenter
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After spending 10 days in cramped conditions out on the Pacific Ocean, a famous doctor continued to make waves when he arrived back on land.
Dr. Jim Sears, a pediatrician on NBC's "The Doctors," crossed the finish line and completed his first Transpac race on Monday, but that wasn't the most exciting part.
"As we crossed the finish line we unrolled a banner that said 'Marry me Gina' and Gina was sitting there at the club watching and she was totally surprised. I had the ring right there, ready for her, now I'm engaged," said Sears, after proposing to his girlfriend of three-and-a-half years.
Before popping the question, Sears had quite the adventure out at sea.
A few days into the 2,225 nautical mile race, the doctor suffered a slight ankle injury that had him limping around for a little bit.
Gina Liotta, Sears' girlfriend, was just expecting him to return home, but was blown away at the surprise he had in store.
"I was like 'Oh my gosh!'," said Liotta. "I was so happy to see him already, so when I saw that, it was like 'Wow!' It was so romantic."
Sears, a lifelong sailor, plans to compete in the race again in 2013.
"I think it's good that they only do this race every two years because it gives enough time to kind of forget all the suffering and the pain," Sears said. "The first couple of days of this race is cold. It's cold and windy and wet and kind of miserable, but the second half of this race is why we do it."
As for his future wedding, Sears says maybe he and Gina will get married here during the next race.
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