08 April 2012

Deal is agreed to scrap Falklands War ship HMS Plymouth:

A DEAL has been agreed to scrap former warship HMS Plymouth, almost exactly 30 years after she arrived in the Falklands.

The Type 12 frigate was the first British warship to enter the islands' notorious San Carlos Water in 1982.

And now as no berth can be found for the ship, owners Peel Ports said a 'deal' had been struck with a company in Turkey for the deconstruction of the ship.

Commanding Officer of the ship during the Falklands campaign, Captain David Pentreath DSO, said it was a "great disappointment".

He added: "I think it is a great shame for the City of Plymouth and the naval history of Plymouth that a berth couldn't be found or allowed.

"It is an expensive game and she has suffered in the past few years and inevitably it was bound to happen but I am very sad it is happening."

HMS Plymouth, launched from Devonport in 1959, is the only Royal Navy warship remaining afloat in UK waters that was involved in the conflict in the South Atlantic, according to expert Mike Critchley.

The frigate later became a museum and a memorial was built on board for all those who lost their lives in the conflict.

Mr Critchley added: "It is sad now to see her coming to the end of her days – just as the nation is about to celebrate in the next few weeks the amazing successes of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines in the South Atlantic back in 1982.

"Despite all the reservations expressed at the time our team of volunteers and a handful of paid staff did an amazing job to display the ship to the public from 1989 to 2006."

A Peel Ports spokesman said the deconstruction process was under way and they were awaiting export certification from the Environment Agency.

He added: "We are obviously very sorry that no permanent home has been found for HMS Plymouth given her rich and proud history.

"It is an unfortunate coincidence that the deal coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War commencing, but it is the end of a process that has taken over two years – and to a great extent the date of the culmination was out of our hands."

The spokesman said they would be aiming to recover all items of historic value for preservation.

Source: Plymouth. 4 April 2012

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