Falklands warship HMS Plymouth goes to scrapyard

HMS Plymouth pictured during the Falklands War
HMS Plymouth pictured during the Falklands War
The new commanding officer of HMS Collingwood, Captain Rob Vitali. Picture: Keith Woodland/MoD

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SHE carried Portsmouth sailors to fight in the Falklands and took the surrender of South Georgia, but the former HMS Plymouth is now heading for the scrapyard.

The Type 12 frigate has been left to rust in the docks at Birkenhead, Merseyside, since efforts to keep her open as a museum ship failed despite initial success.

Now Plymouth is being sent to Turkey where she will be cut up and recycled.

Retired naval officer Mike Critchley was the chief executive of the museum ship venture until 2006.

He told The News: ‘It is a sad day. I and a lot of other people put a lot of time into making it work.

‘She has a lot of historical connections.’

After being bought from the Royal Navy for £1 in 1989, Plymouth was towed to her namesake city and enjoyed some success as a museum ship. She brought in a profit for the Warship Preservation Trust of around £80,000 in the first year.

But berthing became an issue after she left Plymouth and moved to Glasgow and then Birkenhead.

Plymouth has a memorial built on board to all the UK seafarers lost in the 1982 conflict.

It is not known if the memorial remains on board.

Her last ship’s company raised £30,000 towards the effort to keep her preserved for the nation.

Plymouth is the last of the Royal Navy’s Type 12 Rothesay class anti-submarine frigates.

Launched in 1959, the ship travelled the world and saw every action of the 1982 war before decommissioning in April 1988.

A spokesman for the Peel Ports Group, the port authority where Plymouth is currently berthed, last night said: ‘We can confirm that HMS Plymouth will leave Birkenhead Docks and the River Mersey this month and will be recycled in accordance with statutory and regulatory permits associated with her transit and recycling