THE Rock has stepped in to save the iconic British warship HMS Ark Royal from the scrap heap.

The celebrated ship will now become a floating tourist attraction after it was decommissioned in March after 25 years in service.

A Gibraltar-based consortium is planning to bid for the 22,000-ton ship after the Ministry of Defence put her up for sale in Portsmouth.

“Having the last Ark here would be a fitting tribute to her and all the others,” said a
spokesman.

“We know how supportive the British public will be.”

And Mike Critchley, publisher of Warship World magazine, added: “Ark Royal is far too much of a national asset for her to be dragged off for scrap.”

If the bid is successful the aim is to turn the 30-year-old carrier – the fifth Royal Navy ship to bear the name – into an exhibition highlighting the roles of the Navy.

It would provide an added tourism boost to Gibraltar which has a long naval history and saw the third Ark Royal torpedoed just off the coast in 1941.

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