Sea surprise for HMS Defender’s birthday boy

CELEBRATION Rob Smyth opens his birthday cards at his bunk. Picture: L(Phot) Will Haigh
CELEBRATION Rob Smyth opens his birthday cards at his bunk. Picture: L(Phot) Will Haigh

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BIRTHDAY boy Rob Smyth is celebrating his big day miles away from home on board a Royal Navy warship.

And while sailors having birthdays at sea is nothing unusual, Leading Seaman (Above Water Warfare) Smyth managed to get hold of some presents thanks to his sneaky family.

Fiancée Rachel and 18-month-old son Rowan snuck gifts onto Portsmouth-based HMS Defender and gave them to LS Smyth’s shipmates.

They then presented him with them on his birthday.

He said: ‘I was gobsmacked to receive the presents so far away from home. I’ve spent several birthdays and Christmases away from home.

‘The thing that keeps my spirits up the most is the effort my family makes to ensure I get gifts and cards.’

HMS Defender is preparing for a deployment next year.