UK’s oldest naval ship still in commission, HMS Victory, is facing it’s last chance to survive.
According to Andrew Baines, curator at the National Museum of the Royal Navy and project director of HMS Victory, the vessel is slowly rotting because she is not adequately supported.
A £550,000 survey conducted aboard the ship showed its true state and revealed necessary repairs. MailOnline writes that the vessel’s keel has been dropping by half a centimetre a year due to water damage and the current dry dock cradle was putting stress on Victory’s hull.
The museum is already working on enhancing the vessel’s cradle with some 140 points of support. Other works that are planned to be conducted will have a goal of stabilizing the vessel and replacing old planking making her top deck watertight, as reported by Portsmouth News. Baines estimates the project would cost about £35m-£40m.
HMS Victory, originally made of oak, started its previous 50 year-long makeover project in 1955. She was first launched in 1765 and served as Admiral Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
In March 2012 the National Museum of the Royal Navy took responsibility of the vessel which will celebrate her 250th anniversary in May this year.
Naval Today Staff, Image: hms-victory.com