Sunderland crowds bid a final fond farewell to HMS Ocean

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Scores of people turned out to say a final fond farewell to the city’s adopted ship.

Visitors lined the dock in Sunderland to say goodbye to HMS Ocean as it set sail from the city for the final time.

Crowds say a fond farewell to HMS Ocean.

Crowds say a fond farewell to HMS Ocean.

The city’s adopted ship, with more than 200 officers and crew, had been on Wearside for a last visit before she is decommissioned.

During the emotional visit the ship’s company paraded through the city centre on Saturday and hundreds of visitors took the chance to go aboard on Sunday.

After a small technical problem the vessel left Wearside heading for Plymouth and scores of people were there to wave her off, many with flags.

Joining the crew on board were family members along with a party from Sunderland City Council, which included the Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Doris MacKnight.

Flying the flag for the city's adopted ship.

Flying the flag for the city's adopted ship.

The helicopter carrier, which is the Royal Navy’s flagship vessel, is to be replaced by £3.5billion supership HMS Queen Elizabeth.

HMS Ocean and its crew were granted the Freedom of the Sunderland in 2005 giving them the honour of parading and bearing arms as they marched.

In an emotional ceremony at the weekend Coun MacKnight, told the crew of HMS Ocean how proud the city is of them and the links it has to HMS Ocean.

She said she was delighted to be given the opportunity to sail on the ship during one of its last voyages.

HMS Ocean heads out to sea.

HMS Ocean heads out to sea.

Captain Robert Pedre, said: “I would like to thank the people of Sunderland, the businesses and all the organisations in this historic city for the wonderful reception we have received.

“It is widely recognised that the welcome to the Royal Navy in Sunderland is second to none and we are very proud of our close links which have gone from strength to strength over the last few decades.

“HMS Ocean is proud to serve as a floating ambassador to Sunderland wherever we sail.”