The French naval ship Primauguet has docked on Tyneside to commemorate the loss of two French ships, the Bastiaise in 1940 and the Tadorne in 1913.
In both cases locals in the North East were involved in rescuing the sailors on board.
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The scots can fire themselves into the World Cup quarter-finals if they beat Samoa in Newcastle later.
The 60-year-old takes charge of the Black Cats with immediate effect.
What has the weekend got in store for the Tyne Tees region?