Farewell to HMS York as she heads to South Atlantic

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SCORES of friends, family and ship enthusiasts gathered to wave goodbye to HMS York at the weekend.

The warship is making its way to the South Atlantic to conduct maritime security patrols.

The Type 42 destroyer will spend the majority of the five-month deployment patrolling the South Atlantic islands, including the Falklands and South Georgia.

Debra Coats, 36, was at the Round Tower in Old Portsmouth on Saturday to wave goodbye to her partner Daniel Scanlon, 39.

Debra, of Oliver Road, Southsea, said: ‘It’s sad to wave him off because we have two little ones.

‘But we know he’s doing a good service.’

The Roche family had travelled all the way from Luton to wave goodbye to 23-year-old sailor Daniel.

Mum Julie, 45, said: ‘We came along to see our son off, it’s his second time away.

‘It’s easier to say goodbye this time as we’ve done it once before.’

Daniel’s sister Vicky, 25, added: ‘I’m so proud of my brother for going out there and it’s the first time I’ve waved him off.

‘We’ve recorded it on a camera as well so we can watch it back at home.’

During HMS York’s journey south, she will call at Gran Canaria and the Cape Verde Islands.

She is due to arrive at East Cove Military Port on East Falkland in mid-March and will be returning to Portsmouth in July.

Over the past few months the ship has undergone maintenance, which includes being fitted with two new Rolls-Royce gas turbine engines.

Commanding officer Simon Staley said: ‘York has been preparing hard for this deployment to the South Atlantic, a region of high profile political and joint military interest where the Royal Navy has had a continuous and significant effect over the last three decades. I’m delighted with my ship’s company’s response to recent training and am hugely grateful for the engineering support provided by Portsmouth Naval Base.’