SUNDERLAND canoeists carried the Paralympic lantern as part of the countdown to the Games.
Members of Humbledon Outdoor Activities Association, used by people with disabilities, took part in the countrywide relay.
They led a procession of 200 boats through the centre of York city.
Paula Wick and Paul Henderson, two of the longest-serving Humbledon members, were given the honour of paddling the lead canoe that carried the Paralympic lantern.
They had to paddle the lantern two miles along the River Ouse before passing it on for the next stage in its journey to London.
They were escorted along the river by five other Humbledon crews as well as many of their friends from York Canoe Club.
Rapturous applause met the group as thousands of well- wishers lined the banks of the Ouse to cheer them on.
The Opening Ceremony of Paralympic Games, which will see a host of North East sportsmen and women battle it out for a gold medal, is being held tonight from 8.30pm.