Frigate ahoy! HMS Cornwall arrives in Swansea on her final voyage
SHE has crissed-crossed several of the world’s oceans in defence of the realm but the former HMS Cornwall had her final taste of the open seas in Swansea Bay today.
The Type 22 frigate was towed by two tugs into Swansea docks where she will be sliced up for scrap.
She left from Portsmouth last week and is understood to have taken shelter off Ireland due to the storm which hit Southern England on Monday morning.
The arrival of the 5,300-tonne vessel was a highlight for ship spotter Dave Barrett, who travelled to Swansea from Milford Haven.
“I have seen pictures of her all pristine - but she did look rough,” said the 33-year-old. “It’s sad to see any ship being cut up, but everything has a use-by date.”
The frigate was launched in October 1985 and commissioned by Diana Princess of Wales in Falmouth, Cornwall, three years later.
She undertook duties in the North and South Atlantic Ocean, Adriatic, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Baltic seas throughout her time in service, and completed several patrols to the Persian Gulf and deployments to the Far East.
Powered by Rolls-Royce engines, the Type 22 frigate boasted an array of armaments including 72 anti-aircraft missiles, 36 anti-submarine torpedos and a 4.5inch gun. She also carried two Lynx helicopters.
The ship was decommissioned around three years ago. From that point on she was technically known as the former HMS Cornwall.
While her demise may be mourned by many, the job to scrap her will provide an expected 20 to 25 jobs at Swansea Drydocks Ltd, which refurbished and operate at the dry docks.