FAMILIES gathered to wave goodbye to their loved ones as HMS Defender left Portsmouth on a nine-month deployment.
The Type 45 destroyer sailed from the city yesterday to carry out security operations in the Middle East.
Crowds of family and friends gathered at the Round Tower in Old Portsmouth to wave off the crew of 190.
HMS Defender’s commanding officer, Commander Stephen Higham, said: ‘Defender’s hard work and commitment over the past six months has enabled the ship to be in a position to deploy again less than a year after returning home from her maiden deployment.’
Leading Hand Timothy Scrivener added: ‘Although nine months is a long time to be away, we know that the work the ship is doing is important and helps keep the country and our families at home safe.’
HMS Defender is taking over from sister ship HMS Duncan and will work with allies in the Middle East and Gulf.
Although nine months is a long time to be away we know that the work the ship is doing is importantLeading Hand Timothy Scrivener