SUNDERLAND’S adopted warship is getting ready to return to sea after a 15-month lay-off.
Helicopter carrier HMS Ocean has been undergoing a £65million overhaul in her home base of Devonport.
Now her crew of more than 150 sailors, officers and Royal Marines has marched back on board for the first time.
Captain Tim Henry, who assumed command of HMS Ocean at the end of last year, said: “I join HMS Ocean at a most exciting time.
“She has undergone a significant refit period, and our priority is now to ensure that all of her new and improved systems are brought on-line, as we work towards high readiness.”
Ocean will have sea trials in the summer, after which the crew will undergo intensive training to regain operational status.