The UK Royal Navy Lord Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory, will be ‘dismasted’ for the first time as part of a ten-year comprehensive overhaul project.

The first task will be dismantling the warship’s three masts.

A survey of the 245-year-old ship revealed that it was riddled with rot, leaking and being pulled apart by its own weight.

Most of the restoration work will be carried out by master shipwrights and other specialists from BAE Systems.

During the restoration period, the ship, also known as the Battle of Trafalgar, will still serve as a commissioned Royal Navy vessel and will remain open to the public.

About £1.5m a year is spent by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) on the maintenance of the vessel.