A MAJOR step forward has been taken in bringing the old warship HMS Caroline to Portsmouth.
The Portsmouth-based National Museum of the Royal Navy has acquired the day-to-day responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the warship, which fought during the First and Second World wars and is the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland.
Portsmouth heritage chiefs and the city council are keen for the ship to be moved down south from her current moorings in Belfast and The News understands she would go alongside HMS Warrior.
A collection of 400 items from Caroline, which have remained with the ship throughout her service, have already been taken into storage at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
The museum said it would carry on running Caroline in Northern Ireland only if ‘a long-term suitable and sustainable solution for her can be found’. However, the emphasis is being placed on saving the ship rather than her location and ‘other options are being considered’, the museum said.