A racing pigeon which got lost at sea is to be reunited with her owner after she was saved 300 miles (483km) out in the Atlantic Ocean by the crew of a Royal Navy frigate.
Since then she has been fed and watered and received much attention from the 185 men and women on board.
Leading Seaman William Hughes, an ex-pigeon fancier, caught the bird, checked it over and discovered that it was in fact female.
He said: “It was a stroke of luck that Paul found Somerset. “She will certainly have a few sea stories to tell her fellow pigeons.”
Lieutenant Mark Gilbert, the ship’s flight commander, said: “The Royal Navy is used to saving life at sea and providing assistance to those in need. Caring for a lost pigeon seems like a natural extension to our versatile capability.”
The bird’s ID ring allowed the crew to track down owner Gil Hartshorn, 75, from Redcar, Cleveland, who said she had been released for a cross-Channel race from France.
Mr Hartshorn, a retired welder, will be reunited with the pigeon next week when Leading Seaman Hughes goes on leave in the Midlands.