A ROYAL Navy ship is making her final journey to the town she was named after before being decommissioned.

Minehunter HMS Shoreham arrived at the port in the Sussex town, escorted by vessels from the RNLI.

The ship will spend four days in Shoreham to allow local groups associated with the ship throughout her two-decade career to say their goodbyes.

HMS Shoreham departed from Clyde naval base on Tuesday and arrived at the port yesterday.

People are being invited to show appreciation for the crew of the vessel at a ceremony and parade at the Shoreham Centre on Saturday morning.

Lieutenant Commander Andrew Platt, her final commanding officer, said that it is a “real privilege” to bring the ship back to her hometown.

He said: “Over her 20 years of service - with nearly half of these spent deployed in the Gulf, HMS Shoreham’s strong maritime links with our hometown have been of great support to a generation of sailors - and it is right that we express our thanks to Shoreham during this visit.”

HMS Shoreham will also be open to visitors on Sunday, with free tours providing a first-hand view of its capabilities.

The vessel will hand back the Freedom of Adur District that it was awarded in 2011, ahead of the ship’s decommissioning later this year.

Since the award was granted, sailors have paraded through the town with military pomp and ceremony, most recently in 2017.

Councillor Stephen Chipp, chairman of Adur District Council, said: “There has been a fantastic relationship between residents of the district and HMS Shoreham and we have watched her serve with distinction around the world helping to keep it a safer place.

“On Saturday, on behalf of residents, I will be delighted to be leading the thanks to the ship and those who served on her.

“It will be an emotional but stirring occasion.”

Home to 41 crew members, the vessel was the fifth to bear the name of the Sussex town and was part of the UK’s maritime presence in the Persian Gulf from 2018 to 2021.