HMS Shoreham dad meets daughter for first time as lockdown eases

Meet Mary Lee, coming up five months old and the newest addition to the Lee – and HMS Shoreham – family.

Meet Mary Lee, coming up five months old and the newest addition to the Lee – and HMS Shoreham – family.

A normal family snap to be treasured for years to come – dad Michael, mum Naomi, and big brother Edward (coming up two) on the sofa of the family home in Wallsend.

More than four months after Mary entered this world, Michael got to meet his daughter for the first time – as the global lockdown eases.

In normal times, the RN makes every effort to get partners home for births, wherever sailors or marines are deployed in the world.

Covid, the shut down of international travel, quarantine rules and protecting the health of ship’s companies to ensure they could continue operations ruled that out.

It was tough on all of us but I knew I had to crack on and not let the marine engineering department or the ship down

Leading ET Michael Lee

“It was tough on all of us but I knew I had to crack on and not let the marine engineering department or the ship down,” said the leading engineer technician, who remained with the Sandown-class ship in Bahrain.

World events ensured Shoreham – one of four RN minehunters based long-term in the Middle East to keep sea lanes open and work with our allies and partners in the region – has been heavily in use since Michael and his Crew 4 colleagues took charge of the ship at the end of last year under the regular rotation of crews.

Despite the world going into lockdown in March, the Operation Kipion minehunting force has continued its duties – joint exercises with the US Navy’s mine warfare forces, a visit to/training with the Kuwaiti Navy.

“It’s been hard work on my own but great now we are together as a family again,” said Naomi, who’s a leading medical assistant.

Lee added: “It is great to be home and meet my wonderful baby girl for the first time.”

Crew 4 are due to return from the Gulf next month.