Loved-up Wightlink passenger proposes to girlfriend on board Portsmouth-bound boat
SOME couples dream of becoming engaged on an exotic beach, but one man decided the perfect place to propose was on board a ferry to Portsmouth.
Regular Wightlink traveller Kevin Gumma, from Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, decided after 14 years of being with partner Chrissy Tierney it was time to propose.
The couple met when Chrissy lived in Poole, which meant long ferry rides were a reoccurring and important part of their burgeoning relationship.
Kevin contacted staff at the ferry firm a week before his planned proposal, intending to catch an 11.00am boat - but staff thought he had 'bottled it' after the couple were late and boarded the 12pm service on Saturday October 26.
The 50-year-old said: 'Thankfully the staff on the 12pm ferry knew about my plan too.
‘I had been thinking about proposing for a while, and starting a new job running my own engineering firm, it felt like a fresh start, and I thought the time was right.’
Captain Alex Fogarty invited the couple and their nine-year-old son Stanley to the bridge for the big question.
Captain Alex added: ‘Contrary to the commonly held belief, ship captains are not authorised to marry people. My crew and I, however, were delighted to play our part in Kevin and Chrissy's day, and wish them both a happy future together.’
Encouraged by the crew on the bridge, Kevin got down on one knee to ask Chrissy to marry him.
Chrissy said: ‘While waiting for the ferry, Kev had suggested trying to arrange a visit to the bridge.
‘It was a few days before my 50th birthday, so he asked if I wanted an early present - and then he proposed.
‘I asked Stan what he thought first and we both said yes.
‘I love the ring and was very impressed that Kev chose it himself - it’s just what I would have chosen myself.
‘We’re a very happy family.’
And Stanley was allowed to pilot the ship for a few minutes - under strict supervision.
Kevin added: 'He was more excited about pretending to be the captain than the proposal.'