Page last updated at 21:38 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Submarine's final sailing to base

HMS Trafalgar
HMS Trafalgar was the first of her class of hunter-killer submarines

The Royal Navy's nuclear-powered submarine HMS Trafalgar has sailed into its Devon base for the final time.

Devonport-based Trafalgar is the fifth Royal Navy vessel to bear the historic name and was the first British submarine to circumnavigate the globe.

Its return was marked with a flypast by a navy Merlin helicopter.

Trafalgar will become the ninth decommissioned submarine to be stored in Plymouth while an ongoing MoD study decides how to dispose of them.

HMS Trafalgar, which can have a complement of up to 130 officers and crew, was the first of what was a fleet of seven Trafalgar class nuclear-powered hunter-killer submarines.

It was built at the Barrow-in-Furness yard of Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering and was launched in July 1981.

'Pride and sorrow'

An official decommissioning ceremony will take place on 4 December. It will be the first vessel of her class to be taken out of service.

Her commanding officer, Commander Charlie Shepherd, said the final homecoming was a poignant moment.

He said: "The feeling of everyone, including me, as we came in today for the final time was a mixture of pride and sorrow."

He added that there was a feeling of sadness "because this is the last time the submarine will be operational and some sailors who have been on board for up to seven years will miss their occupational home".

"Close-knit submarines are almost families and this community will be broken up," he said.

Its company will be assigned to new submarines, including HMS Ambush and other Trafalgar class submarines, the navy said.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
In pictures: HMS Trafalgar
11 Nov 09 |  People and Places
Fears over sub scrapyard decision
06 Nov 09 |  Devon
Expert doubt over sub dismantling
02 Nov 09 |  Devon
Agency admits sub leak breakdown
12 Nov 08 |  Devon

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific