The Royal Navy’s Flagship, HMS Ocean, has left home for the final time later today before she is taken out of service.
HMS Ocean is currently the largest ship in the British Fleet and its only helicopter carrier.
Britain's largest operational warship will spend the next few months in the Mediterranean on NATO operations before she is decommissioned next year.
The ship's company will be spending the next four months at sea- this will be the last time they see the UK before the end of the year.
By the time HMS Ocean returns to Plymouth she will have spent 11 months of a 16 month period away at sea.
Although she will be decommissioned next year, she is rumoured to be joining the Brazilian Navy’s fleet following her retirement from the Royal Navy.
She will be replaced by the far larger Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier in 2020.
However, until that point, Britain will be unable to mount any major amphibious warfare operations.
Visitors lined the dock of HMS Ocean’s hometown, Sunderland, to bid the naval giant and its 200-strong crew farewell.
In April, the Ministry of Defence said 'a number of options' were being considered for the future of Ocean, adding it was 'too soon' to discuss what those options might be.