Lancashire couple get engaged amid Egypt chaos

James Ormerod and Natalie Lewis. Photo: PA
James Ormerod and Natalie Lewis. Photo: PA
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While thousands of British tourists were wondering how to get home from Sharm el-Sheikh, two Lancashire holidaymakers refused to let the chaos get in the way of their special trip.

James Ormerod and his girlfriend Natalie put their concerns over terrorism and safety behind them by getting engaged in the Egyptian resort.

Mr Ormerod admitted there was “a lot of confusion at our hotel surrounding transfers and security procedures at the airport”, but said he never had any doubt he would propose to Natalie, his girlfriend of five years. He asked the question after dinner on Thursday night on a jetty leading out to sea.

“I had planned the proposal for around a week leading up to our departure,” he said. “I knew that Sharm was a special place for us.”

The couple are staying in the Xperience Sea Breeze resort, just six miles from the airport where thousands of British holidaymakers remain in confusion over whether they will be able to return to the UK.

“We have never felt in danger in Egypt,” said Mr Ormerod. “But the more you research the apparent presence of IS and its relative closeness to the resort you cannot help but wonder ‘what if?’

“That was something Natalie was worried about in the weeks leading up to travelling, slightly more so as the Russian plane was downed the morning we flew out.”

The couple have been told they are not allowed to take luggage in the hold on their journey back next week.

Mr Ormerod added: “We have been informed that no hold luggage will be sent on our flight and furthermore no indication of how we will get it. We have been told to put a label on our hold luggage inside and out, which when you have 20,000 passengers is not a suitable solution.

“When it comes to flying back, security will be higher than ever hopefully, but you would be foolish not to be more alert of your surroundings and expect the unexpected.

“But we have been to Sharm before and it is a place that we will always love and we will certainly be back in the near future.”

Mr Ormerod is a 27-year-old graphic designer and fiancee Natalie Lewis is a solicitor in Preston.