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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 October 2007, 17:26 GMT 18:26 UK
HMS Fearless heads for scrapyard
HMS Fearless (MoD)
HMS Fearless is being sent to the scrapheap 44 years after entering service
A former Royal Navy ship is destined for a scrapyard in Belgium where some of it may be recycled.

The 44-year-old HMS Fearless is to be scrapped five years after it was officially mothballed in Portsmouth, the Ministry of Defence has announced.

The 12,000-tonne ship served in both the Falklands conflict in 1982 and the first Gulf war in 1990.

It also enjoyed a cameo appearance in the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, when it picked up 007.

Military officials say "as much as possible" of the ship will be recycled.

It is sad because she is a ship with more history than most
Ex-Royal Marine Colin Waite

But one former marine called for the ship to be saved for historic reasons.

Former Royal Marine Colin Waite, 49, who served on HMS Fearless during the Falklands War, said the ship was key to victory as, along with HMS Intrepid, it landed troops onto shore.

Mr Waite, from Barnard Castle, County Durham said: "It is sad because she is a ship with more history than most.

"You had the special forces based on Fearless, as well as all the command and control, she was the pivotal point in that war."

Defence Minister Lord Drayson said Van Heyghen Recycling was the preferred bidder for the salvage work because of its track record for recycling materials where possible.

Fearless was launched in 1963, shortly before a sister ship, HMS Intrepid.

During the Falklands conflict, one of the smaller landing craft attached to Fearless, Foxtrot 4, was bombed by an Argentine jet, killing six Royal Marines.

In the 1977 Bond movie, Fearless is the ship that picks up the famous spy's escape pod.


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