A BRAVE Halesowen woman got more than she bargained for when she went diving with sharks - in the shape of a shock marriage proposal.

Nicky Chester was scuba diving with the fiercesome predator when her boyfriend of 12 years Mark Roberts got down on one knee and asked the big question - by holding up a sign saying 'will you marry me?'

Nicky, who works as a facilities manager for Sandwell Private Finance Initiative (PFI) Schools, accepted the proposal.

The 44-year-old said: "It's very hard when you're crying, laughing and breathing while under water and trying to remember to keep the scuba mouth piece in as well!

"Once I had got over the shock the dive master gave me a sign saying yes - the tears were runnning down my face."

IT manager Mark, who has a 13-year-old daughter Katie Roberts, and Nicky have lived together in Hasbury for about 11 years. They met while working at Birwelco on Mucklow Hill, Halesowen, and are looking forward to tying the knot some time next year.

The daredevil couple have completed challenges including jumping out of a plane, abseiling and doing the three peaks challenge between them.

Mark bought Nicky the diving with sharks experience, at Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire, for Christmas.

As Compass - the catering company for Sandwell PFI Schools - was holding a skittles evening at her workplace, Blackheath Primary in Britannia Road, Rowley Regis, to raise cash for Cancer Research she decided to get sponsorship for the dive for the same cause.

So far she has raised around £450 with the skittles evening pulling in another £200.

Nicky, who has a 17-year-old son Sam Forty, said: "I was very nervous before but once you get into the water it becomes calming.

"I'm really pleased with how much I've raised for a cause which is close to everyone's heart."

To sponsor Nicky visit www.justgiving.com/nickychester.