HMS Ocean was retired from the Royal Navy today. The helicopter carrier officially left service at a ceremony at HM Naval Base Devonport with the participation of Queen Elizabeth.
Ocean has been the flagship of the Royal Navy since it was commissioned into service in 1998. Now she will be handed off to Brazil for the price of £84 million.
The role as flagship will be taken over by the new aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. However, the first one will not be operational until 2020.
I had the personal privilege of serving as a liaison officer to Ocean during a port stay in Copenhagen back in 2003. For a young Danish naval officer it was quite an experience to stand on the huge helicopter deck.