Last Type 42 warship HMS Edinburgh decommissioned

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A TEARFUL farewell has been said to HMS Edinburgh after the crew of what is the last of the Royal Navy’s Type 42 destroyers returned to Portsmouth from its final deployment.

• HMS Edinburgh sailed into the Portsmouth Naval Base at the end of a six-month deployment

HMS Edinburgh, the Navy's last remaining Type 42 destroyer returns to the Royal Navy Dockyard in Portsmouth. Picture: PA

HMS Edinburgh, the Navy's last remaining Type 42 destroyer returns to the Royal Navy Dockyard in Portsmouth. Picture: PA

• The Type 42s have been replaced with six Type 45 air defence destroyers

• Hundreds of families were at the quayside to cheer their loved ones home

HMS Edinburgh has spent the last six months patrolling the Atlantic and will be decommissioned in June – having clocked up 793,345 miles. It is the last of the Type 42 class to go on active operations before they are replaced by new generation Type 45 destroyers.

And the sale of the “Fortress of the Sea” breaks a piece of Edinburgh’s maritime tradition, as there has been a naval vessel carrying the Capital’s name since the 1700s, while its crew have regularly visited the region for parades and other events over the years.

Families cheered as the ship came alongside at Portsmouth Naval Base and, once dismissed, sailors jammed the gangways as they rushed to meet their loved ones.

Engineering Technician Sinead Molyneux, 22, from Gosport, was met by her three-year-old nephew Finley King, and said: “It’s awesome to be back. I said I wouldn’t cry but I am crying a little.”

The commanding officer of HMS Edinburgh, Commander Nick Borbone, spoke of his pride at bringing the ship home from its last ever deployment. “Everybody can really sense the fact we are in the final chapter in the life of the Type 45,” he said. “It makes the day even more poignant.

“The ship’s company should be extremely proud of what they have achieved.”

HMS Edinburgh worked on counter drug trafficking measures off west Africa before visiting the Caribbean and the US.