HMS Cornwall – once the Duchy’s Royal Navy flagship – today began her final voyage heading for a scrapyard in Wales.
The Type-22 frigate, built in 1985 and commissioned at Falmouth in 1988 by Diana, Princess of Wales, was being towed from Portsmouth this morning, bound for Swansea.
The 5,300-tonne, former Plymouth-based vessel is the only one of her class being broken in the UK, with her sister ships Chatham, Campbeltown and Cumberland having being sold to the Leyal Ship Recycling centre in Turkey – the same scrapyard which bought the Ark Royal aircraft carrier.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed the sale of the four frigates raised just under £3 million.
A spokesman said: “Following competitions, two contracts have been awarded to recycle four former Type 22 Frigates (Cumberland, Campbeltown, Chatham and Cornwall).
“A contract for three of the ships (Cumberland, Campbeltown and Chatham) has been awarded to the Turkish recycling company Leyal Ship Recycling.
“The contract for the fourth ship (Cornwall) has been awarded to Swansea Drydocks, a UK recycling company based in South Wales. All four ships will be recycled.”
It also revealed its former ice patrol ship HMS Endurance would be scrapped after the cost of repairing the vessel, which flooded off the coast of Chile in 2008, was too great.
Endurance, known as Red Plum, was severely damaged by flooding in the incident in South America. A total of 15 civilians had to be airlifted off the ship following the leak which was caused by a faulty valve.
The ship’s role as the Navy’s Antarctic patrol vessel has been taken over by HMS Protector – a former Norwegian research ship which was given a refit for its new role.
Source: Plymouth Herald. 24 October 2013