HUNDREDS of people took advantage of the chance to get aboard a visiting Russian battleship.
Lengthy queues formed from the moment the public were allowed to have a look around the RFS Vice Admiral Kulakov during its four-day stay in Portsmouth. Sailors from the ship’s 300-strong crew were on hand to greet their visitors, pose for numerous photos and try to speak a little English.
Sailor Shaun Rafferty, 43, is based at HMS Excellent in Portsmouth. He was there with his family. He said: ‘It’s the first time I’ve been on a Russian vessel – it’s quite different to ours. It’s been very interesting.’
Russian Valentina Zakharova, 40, settled in the UK 11 years ago and now lives in Bedhampton. She took her daughter Sasha, seven, and Sasha’s best friend Liam Rose, six, to see the warship.
She said: ‘It’s not very often we get Russian ships coming in, so I thought this was an opportunity that may not come around again.’