Royal Navy’s Smallest Ships Sail with Three Cunard Queens
One of the Royal Navy’s smallest ships, patrol boats HMS Biter and HMS Pursuer, joined the Cunard Line for its 175th birthday celebrations on the Mersey.
For the first time Cunard’s three Queens – Mary 2, Elizabeth and Victoria – were brought together in the city where the company began operating in 1840.
It took three years of planning to get the liners in place and to choreograph their intricate ‘river dance’ – the three ships were just 130 metres (426ft) apart – in the Mersey estuary which remains a busy waterway.
As a result, Biter and Pursuer were called on to make sure that other vessels didn’t encroach upon waters occupied by the cruise ships. The two patrol boats were ideal for the role as they were large enough to be intimidating to other small vessels on the Mersey, but fast and agile enough to move freely and quickly around.
It was all played out in front of more than one million spectators taking advantage of the May Bank Holiday.
Image: Royal Navy