Around 100 yellow balloons were released by friends and relatives of missing sailor Timmy MacColl this morning.
They were released as HMS Westminster sailed passed the Round Tower in Old Portsmouth.
Leading seaman MacColl was due to return home with the rest of his crew and a gap was left where he was due to stand.
the father of two is still missing in Dubai, nearly three moths after he failed to return to his ship following a night out.
Kim Cunningham, grandfather of his wife Rachel, said: ‘the last thing we need is for it to drop out of the media attention which these things have a history of doing.
‘we are not here to cause embarrassment or spoil the day for the families of loved ones coming home but we need to keep the publicity going.
‘there is an online petition to parliament to debate it which has 1000 signatures.
‘it’s a difficult day and it goes without saying.
‘We need a resolution to it - some indication of what has happened.’
Mr Cunnigham’s son Neil added: ‘it’s a day like any other like it has been for the past 77 days.
‘everyday we won’t give up hope.
‘It’s a day we hoped would never come with HMS Westminster coming back minus Timmy.
‘our thoughts go out to his shipmates who have gone through the same as we have.
‘I’m thrilled they are coming back to friends and family and want to thank them for their support.’
Jacqui Brien, mum of Timmy’s wife Rachel, said: ‘this is to make sure he’s not forgotten.
‘we are all praying for him and my heart goes out to his family in Scotland who couldn’t be here.’