Queen decommissions British warship, HMS Ocean, in Devon

Image source, WPA Pool/Getty Images
Image caption, The Queen was driven to HMS Ocean from Plymouth station, where she arrived on the royal train

The Queen has formally decommissioned one of Britain's biggest warships in a ceremony at Devonport.

HMS Ocean, or the Mighty O, as she is known throughout the fleet, has been sold to the Brazilian navy for £84m ($118.8m).

During a speech in Plymouth, the Queen paid tribute to the "unique and remarkable vessel" and her crew.

The farewell to the beloved ship took place "in the midst of this city's rich maritime heritage", she said.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, The Queen gave her speech next to Captain Robert Pedre, the commanding officer of HMS Ocean

"With three generations of naval officers in my family, I recognise the significant demands that have been placed on all those who have served in the ship over the last two decades, as well as the contribution of their families and loved ones."

The Queen also said that the Duke of Edinburgh joined her in wishing the sailors well in the future and that they would "always treasure" their memories of HMS Ocean.

Image source, PA
Image caption, The Queen told HMS Ocean's crew that the ship that its replacement, HMS Prince of Wales, was much larger and more advanced

While onboard the ship the Queen had lunch, meeting families and ship personnel and observed a flypast of three Merlin helicopters, a Chinook, a Sea King and a Wildcat.

Image source, PA
Image caption, The cake to mark the decommissioning of HMS Ocean cost £700 and was made by a chef at HMS Raleigh, Torpoint

The decommissioning ceremony ended with the Royal Navy White Ensign being symbolically hauled down from the ship's main mast.

Members of the parade removed their hats and gave three cheers for the Queen.

HMS Ocean

  • HMS Ocean was commissioned in September 1998 at her home port HMNB Devonport, Plymouth.
  • In her 20 years of service, the vessel has been involved in operations in Sierra Leone, Iraq, Libya, and provided security for the 2012 London Olympics.
  • HMS Ocean weighs 22,000 tonnes.
  • She boasted a crew of up to 1,000, with facilities including shops, gyms, pubs and its own police force.
  • In 2017, Britain's biggest warship arrived in the British Virgin Islands to provide support for those affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

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