Ships head to the River Mersey for a spectacular tribute to the Queen

A MARITIME tribute to Queen Elizabeth II will take place on the River Mersey today (Wednesday September 14).

At 2 p.m., all vessels operating on the river will assemble in front of the Three Graces (Liver Building, Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building).

The training will include pilot launch boats, RNLI lifeboats, river tugs, Mersey Ferries and the Disney Magic cruise liner. They will all whistle in tribute to the Sovereign, who died last week.

River tugs will run Fleur De Lis – spraying water from their gun cannons.

Ships currently in the Liverpool and Wirral dock systems, including at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead, will also sound their whistles in unison, showing solidarity with the maritime salute. A bagpiper will perform before the 2 p.m. time and signal the end of the minute by playing the lament.

Around 20 work ships are expected to be involved in the short tribute which has been coordinated by the City Council’s Cruise Liverpool team.

Members of the public are encouraged to travel to the Pier Head to witness this historic moment.

Mayor of Liverpool, Councilor Roy Gladden, Mayor of Liverpool Region Steve Rotheram, Regional Naval Commander for the North of England and Isle of Man, Commodore Phillip Waterhouse and Harbor Master Gary Doyle will attend the tribute from a docked Mersey Ferry.

Mayor of Liverpool, Councilor Roy Gladden, said: “With Liverpool’s world-renowned maritime heritage, it only seems fitting that we use the River Mersey to pay special tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.

“Following discussions with our maritime community, there is a real desire for working ships to pay their own unique mark of respect to the monarch.

“This tribute will be a rousing chorus of whistles and horns that will echo along the shore of the Mersey, a river on which many of Her Majesty’s ships have visited.”

Liverpool City Area Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “It will be a truly special moment for the public to gather on the banks of the River Mersey to observe a unique tribute to the incredible life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. II with a magnificent maritime spectacle.

“Our region’s maritime ties to the Royal Family run deep, with Her Majesty and Royal Ships having visited the Port of Liverpool many times during her 70-year reign. It is a blessing for members of the maritime community , local residents and visitors alike, to pay homage to our iconic waterfront in ways only our region can do best.”

Gary Doyle, Group Harbor Master at Peel Ports Group, said: “We felt it was important for the Port of Liverpool to mark the sad passing of our beloved monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who gave so much to this country, the Commonwealth and was a global beacon of the proud heritage of our modern British ports.

“As an important maritime community, we would like to, in our own way, thank her for her service and dedication to so many in our city region and beyond.”

Angie Redhead, head of Cruise Liverpool, said: “It seemed only fitting that our riverside community mark the passing of the monarch in our own way.

“Cruise Liverpool coordinated a call with all of our River Mersey operators and we were immediately overwhelmed with offers of support and participation.

“Our ‘maritime moment’ may be brief, but it will have an impact and it means a lot to our maritime community that we can play our part in honoring the Queen, on behalf of the great port city of Liverpool.”

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