A campaign to save the last of the Royal Navy’s Type 42 destroyers is gathering pace.
Almost 2,000 people have signed a petition supporting plans for the decommissioned HMS Edinburgh to become a floating museum.
The Portsmouth-based ship was decommissioned this year but her fate has not yet been decided.
Veteran Paul Gibb, who served on board as a marine engineering mechanic from 1991 to 1994, has launched a Save HMS Edinburgh petition.
Mr Gibb said: ‘I went on board Edinburgh when she was on her farewell tour and it brought back a lot of memories.
‘I realised I couldn’t just sit back and let this happen and decided I had to do something.
‘I would be gutted if she was scrapped but I’m optimistic.’
As reported in The News, HMS Edinburgh returned to Portsmouth for the last time earlier this year.
She went on a farewell tour of the country before her decommissioning ceremony.
Mike Hancock, the MP for Portsmouth South, has backed the campaign to preserve her.
He said: ‘I fully support anything which would see our ships being preserved.
‘Around the world, different countries preseve their warships and they are huge visitor attractions. Most people don’t get the chance to get on board a warship in their lives so there is such fascination there.
‘Modern warships though are difficult to maintain so if Edinburgh is serious about this, it needs to start making a claim now.’
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence is welcoming ideas on how to preserve HMS Illustrious when she bows out from service next year.
Built by Cammell Laird at Birkenhead, HMS Edinburgh was launched in April 1983 and commissioned in December 1985. Her first deployment was to the Arabian Gulf in 1987, escorting numerous merchant ships safely through the region.
· If you would like to sign the petition, visit epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/50317.