Glasgow woman receives surprise proposal as HMS Penzance becomes lover on return to Faslane

A Royal Navy mine hunter became a love boat for the day a sailor proposed to his girlfriend as the ship returned to its home port after months at sea.

Petty Officer (Mine Warfare) Mark Titman, 34, knelt on the deck of HMS Penzance while his teammates held up a banner that read “Will you marry me?”

It was a “huge surprise” for his girlfriend Laura Campbell, who was waiting on the dock with the couple’s baby Ava, and happily said yes.



All aboard the Love Boat

Petty Officer Titman, from Sheffield, then knelt down to put a ring on her finger and offer her a bouquet of flowers after disembarking at HM Clyde Naval Base.

He said: “I got the ring in April, so I knew I was going to do it, so I just had a bunch of ideas. I had a few ideas and narrowed it down to this one. . My teammates knew that and helped me out. “

He joked, “I thought that was the best way to do it – explain it to him to give him a bit of a head start.”

He added: “I am proud to be able to do my job and even more proud of the way my partner Laura has managed to raise our daughter. It leaves me in no doubt that she is the perfect woman for. me.”

Ms Campbell, from the Glasgow area, who also has 10-year-old daughter Caitlynn, was unprepared for the proposal.

The 32-year-old said: “It was a huge surprise. We had talked about it and all that, but not so soon, so it was a nice surprise.”



The couple with their little daughter

Petty Officer Titman, who has two other children aged 10 and seven, was happy to reunite with Ava, who was only four weeks old when he and the rest of the crew deployed to the Gulf in January.

Families and friends waited on the quayside to greet the crew as the ship returned from its three-year deployment to the Gulf, after leaving Faslane in June 2014.

A lone piper played from the deck of the ship and the Royal Armored Corps Band then performed on the quayside to welcome Crew 1, who have been operating the ship since January.

HMS Penzance is a Sandown Class Mine Countermeasures Vessel (MCMV), one of seven vessels operated by Faslane’s First Mine Counter Measures crew.

Constructed of glass reinforced plastic to not trigger magnetic mines, the Sandown class features the latest in mine hunting technology.



Emotional friends and family looked on

In January of this year, she was one of five Royal Navy ships that joined forces with United States mine-hunting ships and aircraft to participate in a major exercise in the Persian Gulf, testing their prowess in the location of underwater explosives.

Working alongside HMS Bangor, HMS Chiddingfold, HMS Daring and RFA Lyme Bay Command Ship, HMS Penzance helped clear a minefield exercise, using unmanned underwater vehicles, divers , helicopters and other specialized equipment in difficult conditions.

The Commanding Officer, Lt. Commander Jim Lovell, said: “The ship has accomplished everything requested of it during the deployment and I could not be prouder of my crew.

“A professional and versatile team, they delivered everything I asked them to do but now it’s time to take some well-deserved time off.”

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