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Teachers take on canoe race in memory of yachstman

The lecturers of yachtsman James Male, who was lost at sea when the Cheeki Rafiki went missing in the Atlantic, are about to take on a new challenge in his memory.

James Male

James was a student at Sparsholt College near Winchester. His teachers are training for the Devizes to Westminster race.

The Cheeki Rafiki yacht went missing on its way home from Antigua and the crew were all lost at sea.

James' Outdoor Education lecturers are currently in training for the gruelling canoe race in order to raise funds for the RNLI Forever by the Seas Fund, which was set up in memory of the Cheeki Rafiki crew.

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Saints remain 2nd in Premier League after drawing with Aston Villa

Nathaniel Clyne in action Credit: PA

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman was delighted as his side stole a late point in their 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw against Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Villa broke the deadlock just before the half-hour mark as Gabriel Agbonlahor collected Ciaran Clark's long ball forward and beat the advancing Fraser Forster to the ball, sliding it into an empty net to end Southampton's four-match clean-sheet run in the league.

The visitors equalised after 81 minutes as Nathaniel Clyne collected Ryan Bertrand's cross and slotted the ball past Brad Guzan to claim a share of the spoils.

Koeman said "We had a good team to win to tonight but after going 1-0 down, in an attacking way we didn't have the freshness to create the opportunities what we normally have.

"If you score that late (in a) 1-1 (draw) then I think you can be happy with the result at the end, but we missed some freshness and some qualities and it was difficult because at 1-0 - the misunderstanding defensively - it was more difficult.

"It was completely a misunderstanding in defence. But it's football, we're human people and we can make mistakes, but after going 1-0 down it was more difficult."

Koeman's side face a testing month ahead that brings games against Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton and Chelsea.

The Saints also have to play four games in nine days over Christmas including league fixtures on Boxing Day and New Year's Day before the FA Cup third round on the first weekend in January.

He added: "It's a nice week to play and we live game to game and of course, it's three big teams but as I said before the game, every game is a battle, every game is difficult.

"Aston Villa had some key players injured and maybe they were more dangerous, it was difficult and we didn't reach our level. We need that to be competitive against City for Sunday."

Pranksters put 5,000 balloons in student's room

Try getting into this room Credit: Southampton Tab

Prankster students went the extra mile to teach their housemate not to leave his room unlocked.

Where will you sleep tonight? Credit: Southampton Tab

Tom Evans and his friends blew up a whopping 5,000 balloons to surprise their housemate after he made the rookie mistake of leaving his room open when he went home for the weekend.

Look through any window Credit: Southampton Tab

The Southampton students performed the ultimate prank purely because they thought it would be funny.

You can read more on the prank in Lucy Dyer's report in the Southampton Tab

Plans for future of Southampton unveiled

A new strategy for the future of Southampton will be unveiled today by city planners.

The project entitled 'city of opportunity where everyone thrives' will focus on economic growth, skills and employment, as well as healthier and safer communities.

Southampton Credit: PA

Southampton Connect is chaired by Southampton City Council's Chief Executive, Dawn Baxendale, who said:

After months of planning, the launch of the Southampton City Strategy 2015-2025 is a fantastic starting point and gives us plenty to build upon to ensure the city has a bright and prosperous future.

I am grateful to all who have contributed to its development and the creation of the partnership model which will ensure its delivery.

– Dawn Baxendale

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Statement from gas company after explosion

Following reports of an explosion in the Howards Grove area of Southampton, our engineers joined the emergency services on site in the early hours of this morning.

We understand a 36-year-old man and four-year-old girl who were in the house at the time have been treated at the local hospital. Our thoughts are with them and their family.

While it is too early to speculate as to what has happened, we are working closely with the authorities to help discover the cause. Engineers have made safe the gas supply at the premises and carried out safety checks in the local area. An exclusion zone remains in place while an investigation gets under way. Neighbouring properties were evacuated earlier and we are working with the local council to ensure the appropriate alternative arrangements are made for those affected.

– SGN

House flattened by gas explosion

The scene of devastation in Southampton Credit: Sam Holder

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service's Control room received around a dozen calls reporting a loud explosion in Howards Grove, Southampton, shortly after 1.30am.

Crews from St Mary's and Redbridge arrived to find the two-storey, end-of-terrace property completely collapsed.

The father and daughter were taken to hospital as a precaution but are not thought to have been seriously injured.

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