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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 October 2005, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
Mary Rose weighs anchor at last

The anchor and a section of the bow from Henry VIII's flagship Mary Rose have been raised on the anniversary of the recovery of its hull.

Tuesday's operation was carried out in the Solent, off Portsmouth, Hampshire.

The anchor was raised to the surface just after 1030 BST - 460 years after the warship sank - with part of the bow following just over an hour later.

The operation coincided with the anniversary of the raising of the main section of the hull in 1982.

It is a happy irony that the future generation of warships have benefited from our appreciation of a ship from the birth of the Royal Navy
Navy spokesman Anton Hanney

Many members of the archaeology team out on the Solent for the latest operation were involved in raising the hull 23 years ago.

One of those is marine archaeologist Alex Hildred, who told BBC News: "I don't think anything will be as exciting as bringing up the major hull of the Mary Rose - that was our lives for three years.

"But this is just another piece of the jigsaw and it is a very important bit.

Next generation

"The excitement of being able to be part of picking up part of the front of the ship is capping it for us all. We are tremendously excited about it."

The Prince of Wales, who is president of the Mary Rose Trust, has sent a message of support to the divers.

He said: "Having watched the raising of the hull exactly 23 years ago and having been closely engaged with the Mary Rose thereafter, I fully understand the excitement today."

The operation is funded by the Ministry of Defence, which is examining the best route for its next generation of aircraft carriers, which will require a deeper channel, to enter the naval base at Portsmouth Harbour.

The route it has now decided on means that remaining timbers and other artefacts from the Mary Rose will be allowed to lie at the bottom of the Solent where they will be naturally protected.

Navy spokesman Anton Hanney said the MoD had spent about 400,000 on funding the dives and excavations of the Mary Rose during the past three years.

He added: "It is a happy irony that the future generation of warships have benefited from our appreciation of a ship from the birth of the Royal Navy."

See the anchor being raised from the depths of the sea

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