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Final farewell to the navy’s ice cream frigate

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She was known as The Fighting 99 and the Ice Cream Frigate due to her tasty pennant number.

Now, the former Type 22 frigate HMS Cornwall has left Portsmouth for the scrapyard.

The frigate, which had the pennant number F99, is the third of four vessels being taken from the harbour to be broken up.

Unlike her three sister ships, which are being taken to Turkey, Cornwall will go to a shipbreaker in Swansea.

The frigate was due to leave Portsmouth a couple of weeks ago but was delayed after the private tug Hibernia was deemed dangerously unsafe by inspectors.

She left Portsmouth yesterday morning towed by a different vessel, Neptun 10.

Malcolm Davies, 45, of High Street, in Old Portsmouth, saw the frigate leave yesterday.

He said: ‘Watching them go has become a bit of a regular thing now.

‘This one didn’t look in particularly good shape but one of them that went past the other day looked good as new.

‘It’s always a shame to see them go for good but you have to make way for the new.’

HMS Cornwall was commissioned in April 1988 and decommissioned in June 2011.

The Devonport-based ship has been laid up with the other three since then.

She was originally sponsored by Diana, the Princess of Wales, but after her death in 1997 the role was assumed by Lady Mary Holborow, the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall.

The two frigates Chatham and Campbeltown have already left Portsmouth and are making the journey to Turkish shipbreakers Leyal.

The fourth and final frigate to be scrapped, Cumberland, is not expected to leave before Tuesday, due to storms forecast in the Bay of Biscay.

 

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