Hampshire Sailors On Historic Journey

Several Hampshire sailors have made an historic voyage onboard HMS Edinburgh to New York on her last international journey.

With the Statue of Liberty providing the backdrop, the company of HMS Edinburgh lined the decks as she made her way through New York harbour to her temporary home at Brooklyn Pier 7 for the next few days.

Onboard was Chief Petty Officer (Engineering Technician Weapons Engineer) Mark Hooper, 38, from Whiteley, who has served 14 years in the Royal Navy.

He said: “Arriving in New York, and being one stop from home, just highlights the fact that we really are reaching the end of the story.

“My first ship was Edinburgh in 1999, when I was a new recruit before returning in 2009, so I’m glad to be on this final international journey. I will be sad to see Edinburgh go.”

HMS Edinburgh departed the UK last September and has been used on a  range of tasks across the length of the Atlantic.

Petty Officer (ETME) Mike Howes, 38, from Fratton, said: “There has always been a family mentality onboard and I have some great memories. I am hoping that this will be my last deployment as I only have two years left in the service.”

It marks an historic milestone for both the ship and the Royal Navy as New York is the Type 42’s final international destination before she returns to Portsmouth and makes way for the Navy’s new generation Type 45 destroyer.

For 30 years she has been part of the Royal Navy hunting pirates and drug runners, defending the Fleet from attack, and providing humanitarian aid after natural disasters.

Before decommissioning in June, HMS Edinburgh will take part in Battle of the Atlantic 70 commemoration events.