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14.05.2004 General News

HMS Cardiff visits Ghana

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Tema, May 14, GNA - The British Naval Ship, HMS Cardiff has left Tema after a short visit to Ghana.

HMS Cardiff, (D 108) is a Type 42 (Batch 1) Destroyer. It was launched in 1974 by Lady Carloine Gilmore and commissioned in 1979. HMS Cardiff is under the captainship of Commander Mike Beardall. It forms part the Royal Navy's South Atlantic Patrol and a Royal Fleet Auxiliary, "Gold Rover" supports it.

The HMS Cardiff visit was to strengthen bilateral ties between Ghana and the UK. The British Navy and the Ghana Navy had a day's training session on board the ship.

While in Ghana, Commander Beardall paid courtesy calls on the Tema Mantse, Nii Adjei Krakue and the Tema Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Samuel Evans Ashong Narh. The crew painted the buildings of the Trotter Orphanage near Suhum in the Eastern Region.

HMS Cardiff took part in the Falksland War, a brief undeclared war fought between the Argentina and Great Britain in 1982 over the control of the Falksland Islands and associated islands and dependencies in the South Atlantic.

Argentina had claimed sovereignty over the Islands, which lie 480 kilometres east of its coast, since the early 19th century but Britain had occupied it and administered the Islands since 1833 and constantly rejected the claim.

In early 1982 the Argentine Military Junta led by Lieutenant General Leopoldo Gultiers launched an invasion of the Islands on April 2 1982 and rapidly overcame a small garrison of British Marines station at Port Stanley, the capital.

The next day the Argentines seized the associated islands of South Georgia and South Sandwich group and by late April the Argentines had stationed more than 10,000 troops on the Falksland. The British Government under Margaret Thatcher declared a war zone for the 320 kilometres around the Falksland and assembled a naval taskforce to retake the Islands.

On April 25 a small British force retook South Georgia Island and captured one of Argentina's vintage submarines and on May 2 Argentine Cruiser General Belgrano was sunk.

The Argentines also sunk HMS Sheffield and container ship Conveyor with Exocet air -to- sea missiles. Two frigates and another destroyer were sunk while several other vessels were damaged.

The British made amphibious landing near Port San Carlos on the northern coast of the Falksland on May 21 and proceeded to capture the settlements of Darwin and Goose Green and surrounded Port Stanley on May 31 and the large Argentine Garrison there surrendered June 14, effectively ending the war.

The Argentines lost about 750 of their troops while the British lost 256. Scores of Argentine aircraft were destroyed while the British lost 10 Harrier Jets and more than two dozens helicopters.