Chichester romantic pops the question in aquarium’s ‘tunnel of love’

Ky Ingram and fiancee Louise Cobban
Ky Ingram and fiancee Louise Cobban

One loved-up Chichester resident took the plunge yesterday and popped the question in an underwater ‘tunnel of love’.

Ky Ingram, 33, asked one of the aquarists at Portsmouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium to hold up a sign from inside the giant tropical display, asking girlfriend Louise Cobban to marry him.

The dad-of-two decided to propose in the Southsea attraction because the couple went for their first date there just four months earlier.

Ky said: “I was so nervous in the run up to visiting the aquarium as I was worried I would get all flustered and not know what to say.

“After I asked the question and she had said ‘yes’ all the stress went and I could relax and enjoy the moment.

He added: “It was fantastic that the aquarium was able to help me out with this and it will always be a very special place for us.”

Blue Reef aquarist Martyn Chandler, who volunteered to take Ky’s written proposal into the display, said he was delighted to be able to play a part in such a romantic gesture.

He said: “We have writing slates here at the aquarium on which we can write notes while underwater and I used that to help Ky propose to Louise.

“We normally only get into the ocean display for maintenance or cleaning purposes. However, when Ky approached us and explained what he had planned we simply couldn’t refuse.”

The giant ocean walk through display contains 180,000 litres of seawater and is home to hundreds of exotic tropical fish species that live among a recreated coral reef.

Staff had to use walkie talkies and secret codewords to ensure everything was in position when the couple walked in to the tunnel and Ky went down on one knee.

Louise, 23, said: “I had no idea he was going to ask me to marry him and I can’t believe he managed to organise something like this without me suspecting anything.

“I was shocked and didn’t know what to say at first but now I’m really excited and I can’t wait to tell everyone.”