UK: HMS Edinburgh Deploys for Last Time

HMS Edinburgh Deploys for Last Time

HMS Edinburgh has slipped her lines from Ocean Terminal for the last time as she bade farewell to her affiliated city of Edinburgh yesterday for the last time.

During her six-day stay the soon-to-be decommissioned Type 42 destroyer hosted a number of events and was the centre of attention for thousands of visitors.

The ship was greeted on the Thursday afternoon by members of the ship’s company who, after a gruelling five day, 450 mile bike ride from London, finally arrived at Ocean Terminal where the ship was docked.

Emotions ran high as the cyclists punched the air with delight and hugged each other after completing their epic journey.

That evening she hosted more than 60 VIPs and dignitaries as a way of thanking Edinburgh for the city’s consistent hospitality over the years.

The evening finished with the Royal Marines Band of Scotland treating guests to a selection of music, including ’Beating the Retreat’.

After a successful Privilege of the City march along the Royal Mile on Friday, HMS Edinburgh opened her doors to the public. Even the torrential downpours could not keep the crowds away with over 2,300 people queuing up to visit the ship and the numerous stands.

On Sunday, various organisations joined the ship for tours including the Royal Naval Association and war veterans.

HMS Edinburgh’s Commanding Officer, Commander Nick Borbone, said:

It was an absolute honour to have been welcomed so affectionately in Edinburgh over the past weekend and took particular pride in exercising our Freedom of the City with a Privilege Parade on Friday.

“The level of support we received during our public open day was humbling and a real joy – the enthusiasm was infectious.”

Prior to the ship departing on Tuesday, members of the ship’s company made one last visit to the Simpsons Special Baby Care Unit (SSBC) at Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary.

This unit was adopted by the ship as a chosen charity and during the visit personnel presented the SSBC with a cheque for £1,500 which will be used towards new training facilities at the Infirmary.

The ship’s doctor Surgeon Lieutenant Kat Rawlinson, said:

”The unit is a volunteer run charity set up by parents who wanted to ensure that every baby born prematurely receive an equal start in life. It is funded entirely through donations and does a fantastic job.

”It was a delight to visit the unit and present them with the cheque from money we raised during our last deployment.”

This morning HMS Edinburgh departed the Scottish capital in style with the Royal Marines Band of Scotland playing her out from the Royal Yacht Britannia.

The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, The Rt Hon Donald Wilson, joined Commanding Officer of HMS Edinburgh, Commander Nick Borbone RN, on the bridge as the ship moved out into the North Sea, after which the Lord Provost departed the ship for the last time.

HMS Edinburgh is now on a two day transit around the northern tip of Scotland, before joining 21 other ships from various countries, including Russia and Poland, in Liverpool to continue with the Battle of the Atlantic 70th anniversary commemorations that began in London a fortnight ago.

Built at the Cammell Laird Yard in Birkenhead – HMS Edinburgh will travel home to Portsmouth at the end of the month, before decommissioning on the 6th June marking the end of her 30 year service with the Royal Navy.

The Type 42 destroyers have all been decommissioned, apart from Edinburgh, to make way for the brand new fleet of state-of-the-art Type 45 destroyers.

Press Release, May 23, 2013; Image: Royal Navy