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Last Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008, 19:23 GMT
Ark Royal returns to River Tyne
HMS Ark Royal
HMS Ark Royal is being berthed at Northumbria Quay in North Shields
HMS Ark Royal has returned to Newcastle - 30 years after her keel was first laid down on the River Tyne.

The 20,000-tonne warship was greeted by well-wishers on Friday as she berthed at Northumbria Quay in North Shields.

Her 1,100 crew are taking a four-day break from training in the North Sea, allowing the ship to open to the public on Saturday between 1000 and 1600 GMT.

The Royal Navy's flagship vessel had its keel first laid down at the Swan Hunter shipyard in Wallsend.

The ship's commanding officer, Captain Mike Mansergh, said: "The Royal Navy has always received a warm welcome from the city and the ship's company are very excited about their visit here.

"HMS Ark Royal is ready in all respects to deploy anywhere in the world to support a wide range of missions, and we are training hard to stay at the highest levels of operational readiness."

The aircraft carrier will take part in a busy programme of events during the weekend.

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