Warship HMS York open to public at Hull's King George Dock
A ROYAL Navy warship will open her gangway to the public this weekend before she is decommissioned.
HMS York, a Type-42 destroyer, arrived into Hull's King George Dock last night.
On Sunday, members of the public will be given the opportunity to take a look around the 5,200-tonne ship.
HMS York, launched in 1982, is set to be decommissioned later this month.
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Commander Rex Cox, commanding officer of HMS York, said: "This visit is one of celebration and appreciation of the sterling service this exceptional ship has offered her country during her 27 years at sea.
"To be bringing her back home to Yorkshire is, without question, not only the absolute pinnacle of this celebration but also a very poignant and dignified moment in her long and illustrious career.
"I sincerely hope as many locals as possible will make the journey to King George Dock to visit the ship on Sunday when we open to the public.
"It allows us, in our own small way, to return the hospitality and affection extended to us for many years before bidding our final fond farewell."
Five members of the ship's company hail from Hull and the East Riding.
HMS York, constructed in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, was the last Type-42 destroyer built.
During her life, she has chalked up more than 750,000 miles and operated in hostile waters around the world.
She played a key role in the Iraq War in 2003 and helped evacuate British nationals from Beirut during the 2006 Lebanon crisis and last year's Libyan uprising.
Royal Navy spokeswoman Fiona Holland said Type-42s are being replaced by Type-45s.
She said: "HMS York has come to the end of its natural life."
Ms Holland said a shuttle bus service will run from 10am to 3.30pm on Sunday for people wanting to take a look around the 141-metre ship.
Visitors should drive towards the P&O Hull to Rotterdam terminal, where they will be directed to a car park.
The bus will ferry visitors to the ship's berth.
Ms Holland said: "Most of the deck will be open to the public and members of the ship's company will be available to talk to."
On Saturday, crewmen and women will march through the streets of York, where the ship was granted the freedom of the city in 1991.