HMS Ark Royal makes final visit to Tyneside

Ark Royal
Image caption,
HMS Ark Royal was built at the Swan Hunter yard on the Tyne

The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal is to make a final visit to the River Tyne before being decommissioned after 25 years in service.

Work began on the fleet flagship of the Royal Navy at the Swan Hunter shipyard in 1978. The vessel was launched three years later.

The carrier is being retired early as part of cost-cutting measures announced by the UK government.

The ship will berth in North Shields on Friday for the five-day farewell visit.

Commanding officer, Capt Jerry Kyd, said: "There is no question that there is a certain amount of sadness attached to this final deployment.

"But it is also an opportunity for us to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of this fine ship and for us to show her off once last time.

"She has played a very important role throughout her history and we have always been lucky enough to draw great affection and support from the British public wherever we go."

The ship will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday.

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