HMS Ocean sailors enjoy their time ashore in Sunderland

Jeff Coxon dressed as a clown collecting for Grace House in Sunderland Market Square on Friday is joined by  l-r Naval Airman Andrew Simpson, P/O Bill Bailey, Rev. Jon Backhouse and Naval Airman Tomasi Matanatabu all of H.M.S. Ocean.

Jeff Coxon dressed as a clown collecting for Grace House in Sunderland Market Square on Friday is joined by l-r Naval Airman Andrew Simpson, P/O Bill Bailey, Rev. Jon Backhouse and Naval Airman Tomasi Matanatabu all of H.M.S. Ocean.

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LANDLUBBERS and those with sea legs can both enjoy a treat this weekend.

With HMS Ocean docked in the city, crew members are planning to cram a lot into a busy few days.

The cycling team from HMS Ocean.

The cycling team from HMS Ocean.

The official parade of Sunderland’s adopted warship was due to get under way this afternoon in the city centre, but that hasn’t stopped ship personnel taking part in a host of other activities.

About 100 young people took part in a Meet the Marines event yesterday when they joined the Royal Marines Commando Recruitment Team on board the ship.

Members of the crew also visited Castlegreen School, Ocean’s adopted school, to meet students and talk about life on board.

Ian Reed, headteacher at the Craigshaw Road school, said their links with the ship go back more than 12 years.

Cyclists from HMS Ocean prepare for Big Bike Ride.

Cyclists from HMS Ocean prepare for Big Bike Ride.

He added: “They have been fantastic – a big support and the visit was brilliant for our youngsters.”

Since arriving in the city, the crew has taken part in a number of sporting activities organised by Sunderland City Council’s events team, including a golf tournament at Wearside Golf Club and a rugby match against Sunderland RFC.

Tomorrow, the ship’s football team, known as Ocean’s Eleven, will play a team from Nissan at the company’s Sport and Social Conference Centre in Washington Road, kicking off at 1pm, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

A team of sailors and marines will also join the first part of the Sunderland’s Big Bike Ride in the morning before setting off on their 500-mile charity bid to race the ship back to Plymouth on their bikes.

Jake Reed and Brett King, both aged 12, presented a clock to Petty Officer Chris Hart for the crew of HMS Ocean from the pupils of Castlegreen School, Hylton Castle, Sunderland. HMS Ocean has supported the school for several years, PO Hart, who lives in Ryhope, helped organise charity events raising money for the school.

Jake Reed and Brett King, both aged 12, presented a clock to Petty Officer Chris Hart for the crew of HMS Ocean from the pupils of Castlegreen School, Hylton Castle, Sunderland. HMS Ocean has supported the school for several years, PO Hart, who lives in Ryhope, helped organise charity events raising money for the school.

They are planning to raise money for the Grace House Children’s Hospice and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

To donate, visit www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/hmsocean or text 70070 with the message SHIP £5 replacing the final number with the amount you would like to give.

Twitter: @sunechoschools