A SUNDERLAND sailor was part of a historic voyage on board the last of the Royal Navy’s Type 42 destroyers.
Steve Thompson was on HMS Edinburgh when she entered harbour for the final time yesterday, before she is officially decommissioned on Thursday.
It has been an emotional journey for all of the Ship’s Company, as she undertook a farewell tour of the UK, visiting London, her affiliated city of Edinburgh and the city where she was built, Liverpool, before heading home to Portsmouth.
The video footage is courtesy of our sister paper, The Portsmouth News.
Edinburgh was the first ship for ETME Thompson (Engineering Technician Marine Engineering) since he joined the Navy.
“HMS Edinburgh is an old ship, which keeps the engineering branch busy,” said the 24-year-old Wearsider.
“But what has made her special is the people who have dug in together to keep her running.
“I will be sad to see my first ship go, but I’m ready for a new challenge.
“I’m due to join a Type 45, which will mean learning how to use all the new kit on board.”
Type 42s were built for the Royal Navy in the 1970s and 80s.
At nearly 30 years old, Edinburgh is last in class and being decommissioned to make way for new state-of-the-art Type 45 destroyers.
In her lifetime she has clocked up 793,345 miles, performing a range of tasks including counter narcotic and counter piracy operations, disaster relief and defence engagement. Type 42s proved themselves to be a flexible combat ship.
Ready for life under the ocean
A WEARSIDE submariner was among the successful Royal Navy recruits on parade at HMS Raleigh to mark the successful end of basic training.
Trainee Writer Submariner Kevin Cullerton joined colleagues celebrating at HMS Raleigh, the Royal Navy’s shore training establishment in Cornwall.
The 20-year-old, from East Rainton, arrived at base in Cornwall in March.
During a 10-week course he has been given a thorough induction into the Royal Navy, learning skills that he will rely upon throughout his time in the service.
“I joined the Royal Navy to better myself,” said the former Hetton School pupil.
“I didn’t want to have just a regular job, I wanted to make a career for my future.
“My 10 weeks of training has been the best time of my life. I’ve met some of the best friends and had great laughs.”
Kevin’s brother, Kris Cullerton, has been in the Royal Navy for six years as an air engineering technician.
The 24-year-old is currently serving at HMS Nelson.
Kevin will now stay at HMS Raleigh to complete his phase two training.