May 26


Byline: Bank Holiday 25th May, saw RNLI Hoylake's new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood take the lead of the RNLI escort as the three magnificent liners sailed down the River Mersey in celebration of Cunard's 175th birthday.
Page Content: Craft from RNLI stations at Hoylake, New Brighton and Lytham St Annes were privileged to represent the RNLI as part of the cortège at Cunard's Three Queens spectacular on the River Mersey, watched by over one million people at the event followed by millions more on TV and other media worldwide.

Hoylake's Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood was joined in the river by New Brighton's inshore lifeboat B-837 Charles Dibdin and Lytham St Annes all-weather lifeboat 12-30 Her Majesty the Queen making her the fourth Queen on the river. Although forming part of the escort they were also on standby should their services be called upon. With unprecedented crowds visiting the event their was a significant risk that someone would end up in the water.

In addition RNLI Lifeguards were on duty safeguarding the vast crowds on the Wirral and Crosby shores endeavouring to minimise the dangers of people going into the water, being cut off by the incoming tide or stuck in extensive areas of mud or soft sand.

Supporting the lifeguards New Brighton's hovercraft H-007 Samburgh was patrolling the area between New Brighton and Seacombe on the Wirral bank helping police the sands and groynes to keep people safe from getting stuck in mud or by the incoming tide, prevention being better rescue.

Cheering crowds thronged both banks of the River Mersey as the Queen Elizabeth led the parade escorted by the Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood followed by Queen Victoria by the Her Majesty the Queen as escort and finally Cunard's 150,000 ton flagship Queen Mary 2 by the Charles Dibdin sailed into port with horns sounding. After passing Liverpool's Pier Head they proceeded to do their choreographed synchronised 'river dance' against the backdrop of the Three Graces, a world heritage site which includes the Cunard Building, the company’s headquarters from 1916-1967 and topped off overhead when the Red Arrows when they flew over.

Cunard’s fleet of three Queens were the biggest ships ever to sail in formation down the Mersey. Liverpool is the companies spiritual home where they began back in 1840 and the history of Liverpool and Cunard have been closely linked ever since.

The RNLI Lifeguards reported that there were many thousands of people on the beaches of Wirral and Crosby where they took preventative action keeping the sandbanks areas and groynes safe by escorting people to safe ground before the tide was came in. In addition to policing the beaches they were involved in providing first aid, dealing with reports of missing persons and responding along with the hovercraft to a potential mud rescue.

John Curry Hoylake lifeboat LOM and retired Liverpool Pilot brought in the first liner to the newly opened Cruise Liner Terminal in 2008. He reminisced on board the latest Shannon class RNLI lifeboat, the Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood, that this really was a very special event; 'The three huge, high profile Cunard liners on display have performed a maritime ballet for us off Liverpool Pierhead. Using the most sophisticated equipment they have completed a series of very difficult manoeuvres on the flooding tide to line up abeam of the Cunard Building at exactly the time, 175 years ago, that the first Cunard vessel sailed from Liverpool. A lifeboat had already been established by the Liverpool Dock Trustees at Hoylake 37 years before this date, so we share much of this long history on the Mersey with Cunard.'


Notes to Editors Station

RNLI Media Contacts
For more information please contact Bob Warwick, RNLI New Brighton Volunteer Press Officer on mobile 0784 765 8922 - email or Alison Levett, RNLI Media Relations Manager North on 07786 668912

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