The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) will be joining in with celebrations over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend to mark the 175th anniversary of Cunard.
The Three Cunard Queens – Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 – will sail into Liverpool during the weekend as a ‘salute’ to the cruise ships’ spiritual home.
On Bank Holiday Monday (25 May), the Three Queens will meet together for the first time on the River Mersey and RNLI lifeboats will be participating in this unique event.
New Brighton RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Charles Dibdin and the station’s relief hovercraft H-007 Samburgh will be joined on the river by Hoylake RNLI’s Shannon class lifeboat Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood and Lytham St Annes all-weather lifeboat Her Majesty the Queen.
The timings for Monday have now been confirmed: at 10.45am Queen Mary 2 will greet her sisters at the mouth of the Mersey (the area between Crosby beach and New Brighton). Between 12.00pm and 2.00pm the Three Queens will sail south in formation towards the Three Graces on Pier Head and then turn through 180 degrees to face north.
Simon Bunting, RNLI Divisional Operations Manager said: ‘It’s set to be a historic Bank Holiday and we will be keeping a watchful eye over proceedings as the event is likely to attract very large volumes of spectators.
‘Our volunteer crews are looking forward to seeing the Three Queens on the river and it seems particularly fitting that our very own lifeboat Her Majesty the Queen will be keeping them company.’
RNLI lifeguards will also be keeping watch as the Three Queens pass the coastline.
Pete Rooney, RNLI Lifeguard Manager, said: ‘To keep safe and have an enjoyable time it is vital that visitors stay away from any muddy areas and make sure that they are aware of the tide and tidal cut off. It’s also advisable for parents to ensure that they don’t become separated from their children and keep track of where they are to prevent them getting into danger.
‘Our charity’s lifeguards will be on hand to offer friendly advice and we would urge people to listen out for any RNLI safety messages during the event.’
Across the weekend the RNLI will be holding family friendly fundraising events with a duck race in Liverpool on Sunday 24 May.
The fun event will take place from 12 noon at the Princes’ Dock canal bridge. The Liverpool Canoe Club will help usher the ducks along the canal before a winner is pulled out.
Each duck costs £2 and tickets can be purchased from today (Friday 22 May) from an RNLI souvenir gazebo near the canal bridge.
There will also be face painting, souvenir sales, and RNLI collections in this location during the Bank Holiday.
RNLI Fundraising Manager, Chloe Shore, said: ‘We look forward to welcoming as many people as possible to our duck race. It promises to be a really fun way to help raise vital funds to enable us to continue saving lives at sea.’
For further information about the Three Queens please visit Cunard’s website: http://www.cunard.co.uk/cruise-types/anniversary-cruises-2015/liverpool