Scotland says farewell to Ark Royal

Image caption, The Ark Royal is being decommissioned under UK government cost-cutting measures

The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal has sailed into Scotland for the last time, as part of a farewell tour.

The fleet flagship of the Royal Navy, which is being decommissioned after 25 years service, sailed down the Firth of Clyde.

It is due to dock at Glen Mallan Jetty on Loch Long to unload its ammunition.

The ship will stay in Loch Long for five days before sailing around the north of Scotland and on to Newcastle, close to where she was built.

The Ark Royal left its Portsmouth base for a farewell tour of the UK on Tuesday.

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

'Great affection'

The Ark Royal's Commanding Officer, Captain Jerry Kyd, said: "There is no question that there is a certain amount of sadness attached to this final deployment.

"She has played an 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.

"For me, personally, I have been exceptionally proud to serve as her captain - my very first job after finishing my initial officer training 25 years ago at Dartmouth was in the then brand new HMS Ark Royal.

"It is, therefore, a great honour for me to be able to command her farewell tour as her last captain."

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