HMS Dauntless sailor Robert Minns, 23, was given a patriotic send-off by family members at the Round Tower as his ship left Portsmouth.
His sister Hannah, 20, was joined by aunt Sarah, 44, and cousins Kate, 11, Emily, 16, and Alice, 13, who shouted his name as the warship sailed for a six-month patrol down south.
Hannah said: ‘It’s really hard to come to terms with knowing I’m not going to see him for that amount of time.
‘It’s his first long deployment. He’s been in the navy about three years and he speaks very highly of the ship’s crew. He loves the ship.’
Dauntless’s stint away will see her conduct patrols in the South Atlantic and off the west and south coast of Africa.
It’s the first operational deployment for the £1bn Type 45 destroyer since she was commissioned in 2010.
Since then she has been put through an intensive period of sea trials and training to prepare her for Royal Navy operations around the globe.
Captain Will Warrender, who is commanding officer of the warship, said: ‘HMS Dauntless’s ship’s company has been working extremely hard over the last year or so to prepare for our first operational deployment. We are now ready to provide a reassuring presence in the region and protect British interests.’