So near yet so far for Navy newlyweds

Alex and Carla Higgins on their wedding day
Alex and Carla Higgins on their wedding day
jpns-19-08-17 retro Aug 2017

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THE vast waters of the Gulf seem like an unusual place for a newlywed couple to spend their first months of married life.

But not long after tying the knot, Lieutenant Carla Higgins and Lieutenant Commander Alex Higgins have found themselves patrolling the same foreign waters on different warships.

Lt Higgins, 28, is the navigator on board HMS Dragon, while her 41-year-old husband serves on board HMS Kent.

They married in the Maldives shortly before deploying in March this year.

So far, the two Portsmouth-based ships have not crossed paths despite operating in the same region.

Lt Higgins says: ‘I met Alex on HMS Edinburgh, and we got together when we left the ship.

‘We got married five months after he proposed, and five weeks before he deployed.

‘Maybe we’ll get the chance to meet up at some point, you never know.’

As reported in The News, HMS Dragon and HMS Kent are in the Gulf region to provide security to one of the world’s most vital shipping routes.

Working in the heat and humidity of the region might be a new experience for Lt Higgins, but Type 45 destroyers are not.

She has previously served on board HMS Diamond, the third in line of the class of six ships, before joining Dragon.

Lt Higgins is responsible for the navigational safety of the destroyer, for planning and preparing charts and routes, anticipating weather patterns and for the navigational training of watchkeepers on the bridge.

‘It has been hard work, there are challenges every day, but it has been great,’ she adds.

‘I have never been on a ship out here before so this is all new.

‘It is difficult but you have to have your fun as well and you have to take advantage of the opportunities.’

Lt Higgins and her husband are now looking forward to returning to the UK after their deployments, and finding a home together in Old Portsmouth.