HMS Southampton leaves Portsmouth for Turkey scrapyard

HMS Southampton is leaving Portsmouth
HMS Southampton is leaving Portsmouth

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HMS Southampton has left Portsmouth Naval Base today to be towed to a scrapyard in Turkey.

The second oldest type 42 destroyer was decommissioned in 2009 and sold by the Ministry of Defence along with HMS Exeter and HMS Nottingham last month.

In her 28-year career the Southampton clocked up almost 700,000 nautical miles on operations across the globe.

She was built at Vosper Thornycroft in Southampton and launched on 29 January in 1979.

The vessel was commissioned into service on 31 October 1981 and sailed to the Falkland Islands in June 1982 - a few days after the Argentine surrender - to lead the first of the peace keepers.

In 1995, she was on hand to help evacuate the population of Montserrat, when the Chances Peak volcano erupted, threatening the Caribbean island.

Southampton also hit the headlines in 1988 when she collided with a merchant container ship in the Straits of Hormuz.

The ship was towed out of Portsmouth by scrap firm Leyal Ship Recycling, which won the contract to scrap HMS Invincible earlier this year. The same firm scrapped Type 42s HMS Cardiff, Glasgow and Newcastle in 2008.

Leyal towed Exeter out of Portsmouth on Spetember 22. Nottingham is scheduled to leave on Tuesday.

The timing of the ship’s departure is dependent on the weather as the ocean-going tugs need a clear run to get to Turkey, the Royal Navy said.

The navy advises people who wish to see the ship leave to check the shipping movements – which are published in The News every day.