The Navy warship which is to be sunk to create an artificial reef has returned to Plymouth.
The plan could turn Plymouth into a global centre of diving expertise
Plymouth's National Marine Aquarium (NMA) bought HMS Scylla last month with funding from the South West Regional Development Agency (RDA).
The plan is to sink the 2,500-tonne frigate off Whitsand Bay in Cornwall for divers to explore, in addition to it being colonised by sealife.
The NMA bought the Leander Class Frigate last month for about £200,000 and she is returning to Plymouth to be converted for her new use.
A Leander Class Frigate with a general and anti-submarine role
Built in the late 1960s
113 metres in length
The ship was recommended for disposal in 1991
It was decommissioned in December 1993
Similar vessels have been placed on the seabed in Canada, Australia and New Zealand
It is hoped that work at Devonport Dockyard will begin later this month and the vessel could be sunk as early as next spring.
When the ship is placed on the seabed off Whitsand Bay she will become Europe's first artificial reef for divers.
Aquarium staff say they plan to use cutting edge technology to enable people on dry land to watch the ecosystem develop.
The vessel was taken out of active service in 1993 and has been used as a training facility in Portsmouth Harbour since then.
It was built in the late 1960s and was the last warship built in Devonport.