TIMSBURY Lake welcomed a famous dragon as part of a University event.

Solent University’s new chancellor helped official name the latest vessel to join the country’s largest fleet of scale manned models at the institution's world-renowned Ship Handling Centre.

Theo Paphitis joined deputy vice-chancellor Julie Hall in launching 'Eternity', a 10m model representative of an Aframax sized ship – a medium sized oil tanker designed to fit through the Panama Canal.

The ship model joins the existing fleet of 10 vessels that are used for training ship’s officers and pilots in the art and practice of ship handling.

The training takes place on the university’s purpose built 10-acre inland freshwater lake at Timsbury Lake near Romsey.

Eternity was designed and built by Gosport-based QinetiQ, which is also in the process of constructing a second vessel, representing a Suezmax sized ship – the largest tanker able to transit the Suez Canal when fully laden.

Julie said: “This valuable addition to the fleet demonstrates our continued commitment to and investment in our world renowned maritime facilities and training.

“Ships are getting larger and waterways and ports more crowded, so scale model training is more important than ever.”

These scaled vessels are part of the Solent’s ongoing £43 multi-million pound investment in maritime training provision at the university.