THE owners of a famous D-Day vessel moored in Southampton have launched a last-ditch attempt to save her from the scrapyard.

With the 75th anniversary of the landings just two weeks away, they have published a proposal to move the former HMS Calshot to Mayflower Park and open her to the public.

Calshot occupies a berth in Southampton docks but Associated British Ports (ABP) wants her to leave the port by the end of next month.

Now, with time rapidly running out, members of the Tug Tender Calshot Trust are calling for her to be given a new home and turned into a tourist attraction.

It follows the launch of Southampton’s bid to become City of Culture 2025.

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Cllr Satvir Kaur, the city council’s cabinet member for culture, said the authority wanted to help the trust find an alternative location for Calshot but “did not have the resources required”.

However, trust bosses are planning to press their case when the council’s head of culture, Carolyn Abel, visits the vessel tomorrow.

Calshot was launched in 1929 and helped manoeuvre the world’s greatest ocean liners before being renamed HMS Calshot ahead of the D-Day landings on June 6 1944.

She transported sections of the famous Mulberry Harbour to France and also served as a “non-assault HQ ship”.

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But the Southampton-built vessel was declared unseaworthy by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in 2017. Her owners say the 90-year-old vessel is slowly deteriorating and should be moved ashore to preserve her for the nation.

They are urging ABP to tow her to Mayflower Park and surround the vessel with dredged material, effectively turning her into a land-based attraction.

Trust members outlined their proposal at a meeting with council chiefs and representatives from ABP at a meeting last November. Now, with next month’s deadline looming, they are stepping up their campaign.

The chairman, Terry Yarwood, said the deadline imposed by ABP could easily be extended.

He added: “Calshot would be located in an extension to Mayflower Park and would not interfere with Southampton Boat Show. She is the last surviving D-Day headquarters ship and is therefore extremely important. This is the last chance to save her.”

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An ABP spokesman added: “After many years supporting this ship, we have been working with the trust and the city council to help find a viable future for the vessel.”

The spokesman declined to make any further comment.

Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith cited plans to redevelop Mayflower Park, adding: “My preferred option would be for some accommodation to be reached with ABP.”

Calshot was one 7,000 ships which took part in the D-Day landings and helped change the course of the war.

Shortly after the Second World war began the Southampton-based Calshot was requisitioned by the Admiralty and renamed HMS Calshot to reflect her new military role.

She was sent to Scapa Flow before being transferred to Gourock on the River Clyde in 1942. There she acted as tender to two trans-Atlantic liners, the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary, which were being used to transport troops and supplies to the UK from America.

Before Calshot returned to the south the Clyde Admiralty Berthing Officer sent a letter to Calshot’s master.

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It said: “It did not take long to find the Calshot could be depended upon to do anything at any time and do it efficiently, thereby giving complete satisfaction at all times.

“My best wishes go with you in your new sphere of activities, knowing well that whatever your particular job may be, the Calshot can be depended upon to give her best.”

In May 1944 HMS Calshot headed south ahead of D-Day.

Mayflower Park is next to Southampton docks which was a hive of activity during the build up to the Normandy landings.