WATCH: High emotion as HMS Daring leaves Portsmouth for Gulf anti-terror mission
HMS Daring sailed from Portsmouth this lunchtime for an anti-terror mission in the Gulf.
Families and friends gathered at the Round Tower and along the Hot Walls at Old Portsmouth to see the destroyer sail out of the harbour to begin her deployment.
Daring and her 190-strong ship’s company are scheduled to spend nine months in the Gulf.
Watch our full Facebook Live coverage of Daring’s departure here
A mainstay of her task will be to help protect American aircraft carriers as they launch air strikes against Isil targets.
Families and friends carried flags and banners as they gathered to wave farewell.
Lynsey Ross, whose son James - a 21-year-old underwater warfare specialist was on his first tour in Daring - said: ‘He was really excited this morning stood there in his uniform.
‘I’m excited for him but I’m also very nervous for him.
‘We’ve known he’s be going for a few months. We’ll be able to keep in touch via email and also texting and phone calls if and when they dock.’
Sally Hughes, who previously served in Daring, was waving goodbye to her girlfriend Gemma Brice. Sally said: ‘I’m in the Navy myself so I know how it feels but I’ve not been on this side before.
‘You don’t register how long they are going for.
‘I’ve done a nine month Global with Daring and an eight month Gulf trip before that.
‘I basically said to Gemma not to look at is as nine months away but to take it day by day.
‘Enjoy it, after all, you’re getting paid to travel.’
Joanna Phillips, whose son Michael Williams, 20, is a weapons engineer, said: ‘I’ve only managed to stop crying for a minute. I’m so proud of him but I’m also scared for him because I know where he is going.
‘I don’t want to do nine months without him.
‘He was quite excited this morning but he has been nervous.
‘He is very close with his sister Eva. I know he will miss her terribly.’