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Fishermen lucky to be alive after sea drama

The Dutch yacht that picked up the stricken fisherman.
The Dutch yacht that picked up the stricken fisherman. Credit: RNLI

Two fishermen are said to be lucky to be alive tonight after they spent nine hours adrift on a lifeboat after their own boat sank 12 miles off the coast of Sunderland.

The men, who haven't been identified, were picked up by a passing Dutch yacht on its way to Whitby and taken to Hartlepool Marina.

Joshua Shrimpton Dean reports.

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Full report: MH17 family meets with Prime Minister

Barry Sweeney (red shirt), father of victim Liam Sweeney, is among those meeting the PM.
Barry Sweeney (red shirt), father of victim Liam Sweeney, is among those meeting the PM. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

The family of Newcastle United fan Liam Sweeney - who was killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash - has met the Prime Minister David Cameron today to discuss the investigation into the incident.

Barry Sweeney, Liam's father, together with his mother and other family members, left for London from Newcastle Central station early this morning for this afternoon's meeting.

They were also representing the family of John Alder, another fan who died on the flight.

Our correspondent Gregg Easteal joined the Sweeney famliy and has the hour-by-hour story of what was a difficult and emotional day.

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PM was 'very humble' in meeting with MH17 families

Prime Minister David Cameron was "very humble" when he met the families of victims of the MH17 air disaster, according to one of the parents who attended the meeting.

Barry Sweeney, whose son was aboard MH17.
Barry Sweeney, whose son was aboard MH17. Credit: ITV News

Barry Sweeney said: "I've got to say Mr Cameron was very humble. He answered every question that was asked of him. He brought a few experts in to talk about crash sites and how the airplane might have come down."

The Newcastle native attended the hour-long meeting with his wife Angela and seven of the 10 families of British victims. His son Liam died alongside his friend John Alder.

The 52-year-old who spoke earlier with ITV News,said: "We basically asked Mr Cameron just to help. The talking I suppose has got to stop and the doing has got to be done."

He added: "I feel very angry and frustrated. It would be nice if they could just stop fighting for a little bit so that we could get all our boys and girls home."

Read: Identifying MH17 victims 'will take months'

Robson Green turns the lights on at Cragside

The lights at Cragside are once again powered by hydro-electricity.
The lights at Cragside are once again powered by hydro-electricity. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The Northumberland estate of Cragside was made famous when it became the first house in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity.

Now it is going back to being powered by water again.

And the equally famous Northumberland actor, Robson Green, was the man to switch the power back on.

The modern hydro system is a 17-metre Archimedes screw, an old system used to generate power.

It can generate around ten percent of the electricity the property needs.

Crowds gather to watch the new power system being turned on.
Crowds gather to watch the new power system being turned on. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

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An egg-stra special arrival in Washington

A Chilean flamingo egg has been successfully laid at WWT Washington Wetland Centre – the first in seven years.

It was spotted on a nest yesterday (July 28) and its arrival marks the culmination of a pioneering two-year conservation breeding project, during which flamingo chicks were hand-reared from eggs brought into the centre and integrated into the existing flock in a bid to encourage natural breeding.

Washington Wetland Centre's first Chilean flamingo egg in 7 years.
Washington Wetland Centre's first Chilean flamingo egg in 7 years.
The new arrival at WWT
The new arrival at WWT

The long-awaited WWT Washington egg has been carefully swapped for a clay dummy as a safety precaution and staff and volunteers now have an anxious wait to see if it is fertile.

This can be determined in about 10 days’ time using a method known as ‘candling’; where a bright torch is shone through the shell to check if there’s an embryo inside.

If there is, then the egg will continue to be incubated and cared for at the centre’s specialist duckery, ensuring it has the best chance of survival.

It will then be returned to the nest shortly before hatching, when the chick begins calling from inside as part of a bonding ritual with its parents, who’s job it will then be to raise the chick themselves.

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