I hear a group of students enjoyed an unexpected treat the other day when their boat trip was interrupted by the not at all unpleasant spectacle of Sophia Loren, in her full glory, floating in the mouth of the River Tyne, asking to be rescued.
But before you speculate about whether the delegation from New College Durham had been over doing it with the rum rations, the Sophia Loren in question was in fact a trawler which got into trouble. The trawler was towed into port by the Example - the ship carrying the students, which is owned by Newcastle university.
Overseeing the operation, as the students learned first-hand about maritime rescue, was a Petty Officer aboard the Example. His name - Kirk Douglas.
email us at FErret@tes.co.uk