HMS Caroline Makes Triumphant Return To Water
The sole surviving vessel from the Battle of Jutland, HMS Caroline, has been returned to Alexandra Dock in Belfast, after being removed from the water for the first time in 32 years.
The WWI light cruiser was one of more than 150 British warships that locked horns with the Kaiser’s High Seas Fleet in the North Sea at Jutland, when she charged at the German lines on at least one occasion to unleash torpedoes.
The ship has undergone extensive repairs as part of her restoration, having had 1,700 rivets repaired, with 14 teams of welders repairing one rivet every 90 seconds.
Tonnes of barnacles were blasted off her hull before having a marine-grade paint scheme applied.
Her return to the water comes after the veteran light cruiser opened to the public in June, a day after the centenary commemorations for the WW1 battle.
Work on her hull was delayed in a bid to capture summer visitors, with 16,000 people going aboard the HMS Caroline in five months to witness the result of her £15m restoration project.
The ship, which was nicknamed Lucky Caroline, was one of the fastest afloat in her day and during Jutland was used as a scout. She escaped major damage.
She was later taken to Belfast, where she was used as a naval operations headquarters during the Second World War.
Now, the 122-metre-long ship is ready to undergo the next stage of her restoration.