SAILORS who served in former HMS Edinburgh bid her farewell as she set sail from Portsmouth today for scrap.
The Type 42 destroyer was decommissioned in 2013 and is the last but two of her type to be towed to a Turkish scrap yard.
Chief Petty Officer Tom Hayzen-Smith, 32, of Copnor, was on the Round Tower, in Old Portsmouth, to say bye to his old ship.
He was with fellow sailors Louis Slack, 39, of Gosport, Simon Curwood, 40, of Southsea, Darbz Allen, 39, of North End and Laura Dreczko, 38, of Gosport.
All were on board for her last deployment, to the Falklands, and tour of Britain before decommission in 2013.
Tom told The News: ‘She was a Type 42 and I loved them.
‘I’ve spent 12 years of my career so far on Type 42s.
‘It was a great ship’s company, very happy – a sort of family, you have your difficulties but it was a definite family.
‘They’re brilliant messes, great people, that’s why I’m here.’
Darbz, who served as a Petty Officer Stoker on the ship, added: ‘I’ve only ever served on 42s – it’s quite strange, it’s always sad to see a hull go.’
Crew marked her decommissioning in a ceremony in June 2013 at Portsmouth Naval Base, with Lady Heseltine, who launched the ship in 1983, inspecting the ship’s company.
Yesterday a smaller but loyal band of followers said goodbye with standard bearers and a piper marking the occasion.
Dean Deakins, 57, from Waterlooville, was parade marshal for the Type 42 Association on the Round Tower as the ship sailed past. He hailed the ship as a ‘fortress of the sea’. He added: ‘I know it’s a sad occasion but I want to enjoy the memories.’
Staff Sgt Chloe Aldridge, 39, from Gosport, piped and played the bagpipes at the informal ceremony, with her former Edinburgh sailor husband Simon, 36, also there.
He said: ‘It brings in the future but it’s sad to see her go.’