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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 February, 2004, 17:13 GMT
Ark Royal sails up the Thames
Ark Royal sails up the Thames
HMS Ark Royal's last visit to London was in 1992.
The 20,000-ton HMS Ark Royal sailed into London on Wednesday to draw attention to the navy's young cadets.

The aircraft carrier passed through the Thames Barrier and went to Greenwich, south-east London, where she will be moored for six days.

The Portsmouth-based warship returned in May from the Gulf, where she led Britain's largest maritime task-force since the Falklands War.

Many of the UK's 15,000 cadets live in cities, far from the sea.

The Royal Navy says the Sea Cadets' Association is important as its "footprint in the community".

The maritime training organisation for 10 to 18-year-olds is part-funded by the navy, but also needs to raise about 5m a year from other sources.

Wednesday's exercise marks the start of a two-year campaign to find new sponsors as well as improving facilities and opening up opportunities for cadets.

The Princess Royal will be guest of honour at a reception on board Ark Royal on Friday.

About 60 cadets are to be on board the warship.

HMS Ark Royal's last visit to London was in 1992.

Cook's ship returns to London
30 Aug 02  |  England

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