The Royal Navy's former flagship aircraft carrier, HMS Ark Royal, has left Portsmouth bound for Turkey where she will be scrapped
Crowds of people turned out to bid a final farewell to HMS Ark Royal yesterday as she left Portsmouth bound for Turkey where she will be scrapped.
The well-wishers, which included former crewmembers, many of whom wore black arm bands, gathered at the Round Tower in Old Portsmouth to wave her off shortly after 1pm.
Launched on 20 June 1981 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, she was the fifth vessel to bear the name Ark Royal and was retired in 2010 ending 25 years of service in the Royal Navy, although she wasn’t formally decommissioned until 2011.
Under a deal reportedly worth £2.9m with ship recycling firm Leyal, she is now being towed to Turkey where she will be scrapped, just as her sibling HMS Invincible was.
Former captain of HMS Ark Royal, Sir Alan Massey, told the BBC he would be “sad to see her go to the breakers yard.”
Massey said, “Whenever people appeared in public with the Ark Royal name tally on their caps I think they had a spring in their step, they realised that this was a famous name and to an extent there was an expectation that they would be the best.”
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