The frigate HMS Chatham paid her final visit to Tyneside on 20 January when she sailed into North Shields for the start of a routine four-day visit to Tyneside. She berthed at Northumbrian Quay in the afternoon. After her visit, the ship returned to her base port of Devonport in Plymouth for the last time and arrived there on 26 January to end 20 years of service.
HMS Chatham, the last of four Type 22, Batch 3 frigates to be built on the Tyne by Swan Hunters Shipbuilders, was launched in January 1988 and has seen active service globally in conflict, anti-piracy, anti-narcotics and humanitarian operations. She was present at the handover of sovereignty for Hong Kong in 1997 and, more recently, received world-wide recognition for her efforts in the aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami.
Last year HMS Chatham returned from a seven-month deployment off the coast of Somalia, where she was the lead vessel for Operation Ocean Shield, the NATO contribution to countering piracy in the area.