A FEW hardy souls gathered in the rain to say goodbye to a Royal Navy icebreaker as she sailed out of Portsmouth for the last time.
HMS Endurance left the port this afternoon under grey skies.
The ice patrol ship has been scrapped and was making its way to the Leyal Ship Recycling centre in Turkey – the same scrapyard that bought the Ark Royal aircraft carrier.
The outbursts of rain did not put off a small crowd, who lined the shore to see her off.
Among them was Ned Needham, who served as a chief petty officer on board HMS Endurance from 2005 until 2008.
The 42-year-old, from North End, was at the Round Tower in Old Portsmouth with his wife Julia, and their two daughters Emily, seven, and Olivia, five.
He said: ‘It was a very special ship, what we were doing was completely different to anything else in the Royal Navy.
‘And there was a very good ship’s company. We were very close knit, a close team that had good times.’
Endurance served from 1991 until 2008. She started life as MV Polar Circle, built in Norway in 1990 for Rieber Shipping.
Then, in 1991, the icebreaker was loaned for eight months to the Royal Navy before being bought outright by the Senior Service and renamed HMS Endurance in October 1992.
Endurance played a key role in providing a British presence in Polar waters, performing hydrographic surveys and supporting the British Antarctic Survey in Antarctica.
In 2005, Endurance hosted the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh during the International Fleet Review as part of the Trafalgar 200 celebrations in Portsmouth.
Source: Portsmouth. 01 June 2016