Sheffield sailor Rob Smyth celebrated his 29th birthday in style - despite being far from home on board his ship, HMS Defender.
Normally birthdays at sea can be rather low-key occasions, with fun and games postponed until sailors return to their home base.
But not this time.
The Royal Navy gunner enjoyed opening surprise presents from fiancee Rachel and 18-month-old son Rowan, which were sneaked aboard by one of his shipmates Alex Stocker.
“I was gobsmacked to receive the presents so far from home,” said Rob.
“I’ve spent several birthdays and Christmases away from home deployed on operations. The thing that keeps my spirits up the most is the effort my family makes to ensure I get cards and gifts.”
Rob serves on one of the Royal Navy’s newest type 45 destroyers, and is the eighth ship to bear the name HMS Defender.
He is now planning to have plenty of presents ready for Rachel and Rowan for the festive season, as the ship in due back in its home port at Helensburgh on the Clyde well in time for Christmas.
Then Leading Seaman Rob, a medium calibre gun controller, will be back to work after the holiday preparing for his ship’s next deployment in the new year.