12 June 2013

HMS Ark Royal sails into Turkey ahead of being scrapped:

THE mighty HMS Ark Royal cuts a sad sight as she reaches her final resting place, 2,000 miles from home.

Britain’s most famous warship was dragged by a tugboat into a scrapping facility at Izmir, west Turkey, earlier today.

Orange smoke guided the vessel into the right-hand side of the boatyard, which spans more than one mile.

Here the 22-000-tonne light aircraft carrier will be stripped down and eventually turned into everything from bridge foundations to razor blades and tin cans.

Asim Ozdogan, director of ship recycling firm Leyal, said up to 80 workers will spend eight months completing the project.

The company bought the flagship vessel, which led forces during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, from the Ministry of Defence for a reported £2.9m.

The ship was decommissioned by the Coalition government as part of spending cuts in the 2010 defence review.

There had been bids to turn the ship into a nightclub, casino and even an artificial diving reef off the coast of Devon, but all were rejected by the MOD.

The illustrious vessel set sail on its final journey on May 20, when it was waved off by hundreds of flag-waving Brits at Portsmouth Harbour.

HMS Ark Royal had served the UK since it was launched in June 2, 1981.

It was built by Swan Hunters Ship Builders’ yard at Wallsend, North Tyneside in 1978 - at a cost of £320million.

At 210m long it was capable of carrying 22 aircraft and had a complement of 1,051.

It was the fifth great warship to be named the Ark Royal, the first being a ship opened in 1586 for Sir Walter Raleigh.

Leyal are not due to start scrapping the vessel for another two weeks.

The MOD declined to comment about the project.

Source: The Sun. 10 June 2013

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