Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

HMS Edinburgh arrives in Leith on its final trip

The crew of HMS Edinburgh salute from shore as the flag is raised
Image caption The crew of HMS Edinburgh salute from shore as the flag is raised

HMS Edinburgh has arrived in the capital on its final trip to the city before it is decommissioned.

The 30-year-old Type 42 Destroyer dropped anchor in Leith docks earlier for six days.

During its stay the crew will take part in a parade down Edinburgh's Royal Mile.

The ship, the Navy's largest Type 42, is sailing around the UK in a farewell tour which will end in Portsmouth next month.

It left London on Sunday and will continue on to Liverpool, where it was built, after its stay in Edinburgh.

About 250 crew are on board but will be redeployed across the Navy at the end of the tour.

Commander Nick Borbone has been in charge of HMS Edinburgh for 18 months.

He said: "This marks the end of the ship and the life of the Type 42 Destroyer so it's a really significant trip and a huge highlight of that is the visit to what we consider to be our spiritual home of Edinburgh.

"Although the ship was built in Liverpool and is mainly based in Portsmouth, we're named after Edinburgh city and have had really strong links with it over the 30 years or so of the ship's life.

"It's one of the cities we visit most, so to be able to pay our respects and let the people of Edinburgh look over what is really their ship will be great before we go back to Portsmouth and decommission."

The Type 42 Destroyers are to be replaced in service with the Type 45 class which are double the weight and carry the latest missile technology.

Cdr Borbone said: "The Type 42s have been hugely significant to the Navy over the last four decades and been part of major campaign during that time serving with absolute distinction from the Falklands in 1982, where two of the class were sunk in action.

"They also fought in both conflicts in the Middle East and have been involved in operations in the Med and most recently in Libya with HMS Liverpool.

"They will go down in Naval history as one of the most capable ships and have provided great value for money."

Image caption The crest of HMS Edinburgh on the muzzle of a gun on board the vessel
Image caption The Type 42 Destroyer dropped anchor in Leith docks on Wednesday
Image caption Officers lined the decks on board HMS Edinburgh as the vessel arrived in the city
Image caption A mechanical engineer checks one of two V16 diesel engines
Image caption HMS Edinburgh will spend six days berthed at Leith Docks

HMS Edinburgh remains in active service during the farewell tour with regular weapons tests continuing.

All of the crew were involved in a fire exercise as the ship approached Edinburgh to test the awareness and training of the crew.

The four engines that propel the ship and two diesel engines which produce electricity also require daily maintenance, particularly as the ship is one of the oldest in Navy service having sailed almost 800,000 miles.

Petty Officer Steve Frewer, an engineering technician from Essex, leads a team who man the power of the boat 24 hours a day.

He said: "It would take about 300 oil tankers that you see on the road to fill our fuel tank and the electricity our generators produce could power a small town.

"The ship is an amazing feat of engineering and a bit like a classic car, it'll be sad to move on to another deployment with another ship but it's been great to work on Edinburgh and keep it moving around the world."

The crew of HMS Edinburgh will parade through its namesake city on Friday and the ship will be open to the public on Saturday.

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