At 0800 on Thursday (24 March) she will be towed out of Portsmouth Harbour on her way to the breakers yard in Turkey. She has been laid up in No 3 Basin in the Dockyard for almost 6 years, after being decommisioned in 2005. She was sold to a Turkish shipbreaker earlier this year after an ebay-style auction. It seems she is being sold off in order to clear space for her sister ship HMS Ark Royal, who decommisioned last week.
It really is the end of an era with the departure of Invincible. She first arrived in Portsmouth in 1981 brand-new from the shipbuilders. My Dad was working in the Dockyard at the time and worked on her when she was dry-docked for the first time, apparently one of the underwater sonar transducers took an accidental dink that needed fixing.
I really hope that people turn out to mark Invincible’s departure. Amongst all of the political sprawling for brownie points with the departure of Ark Royal, we should never forget the role that she played in the Falklands War in 1982. Men died flying Sea Harriers from that ship. What a pity that the Harrier’s have been scrapped, so she cannot even get a flypast to see her off. But then again I doubt the Government or the MOD will want to make a big deal out it.
- A carrier-less Royal Navy (dalyhistory.wordpress.com)
- HMS Invincible sailing on to the scrapheap (bbc.co.uk)
- After glory in the Falklands, HMS Invincible to end its days as a floating NIGHTCLUB (dailymail.co.uk)
- Falklands ship sold for scrap (thesun.co.uk)
- You: Man bids £5m for HMS Invincible (guardian.co.uk)
- Busy time in Portsmouth Dockyard – for scrap, anyway… (dalyhistory.wordpress.com)
- HMS Invisible to become floating leisure centre (telegraph.co.uk)