Page last updated at 14:31 GMT, Friday, 18 September 2009 15:31 UK

HMS Ocean returns to Sunderland

HMS Ocean in Sunderland
The warship will be docked in the city for four days

Sunderland's adopted warship, HMS Ocean, is paying its sixth visit to the city.

The giant Royal Navy helicopter carrier, the fleet's largest ship, will be in the city for four days, and will be opened to the public on Sunday.

The 22,500 tonne amphibious assault vessel docked at Corporation Quay on Friday afternoon.

A number of events have been organised, starting with an official on-board reception for invited guests.

We are lucky enough to have really strong ties here with our affiliated city and we always get a great welcome
Captain Simon Kings

On Saturday, the ship will be visited by local sea cadet units and members of the ship's crew will be ashore taking part in various activities, including a rugby match with Blaydon RFC.

The following day, Ocean opens her gangway from 1030 BST to 1600 BST.

Visitors will be able to get a close-up look at the Lynx and Apache helicopters on her flight deck.

Captain Simon Kings said: "We really enjoy being able to bring this great ship into Sunderland.

"We are lucky enough to have really strong ties here with our affiliated city and we always get a great welcome."

HMS Ocean's crew was granted freedom of the city in July 2004.

The warship is a sea-going commando base, capable of rapid deployment anywhere in the world.

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