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Guests of the NSRI were recently treated to a spectacular view of this seafaring giant setting off on the next leg of her journey.

On a balmy evening in early April, Durban Lifeboat Club members were treated to a rare display at NSRI Station 5: a breath-taking night-time view of the Queen Mary 2’s departure from Durban Harbour.

Christened in 2004 in Southampton by the late Queen Elizabeth II, the QM2 is the only transatlantic ocean liner in regular service between Southampton, England, and New York City, United States, and on 3 April she docked at Durban Harbour for the first time since the Covid 19 pandemic. At 345 metres long, she is one of the world’s longest cruise ships – as long as 36 London double-decker buses – and towers 62 metres above water. Her top speed is about 30 knots, and her passenger capacity is 2 695, with extra room for 1 253 crew.

QM2

About 70 guests enjoyed drinks and snacks at the NSRI Durban rescue base while waiting for the QM2 to depart. Foul weather chased everyone inside, and the ship’s departure was delayed by an hour, but that did not stop anyone from enjoying themselves.

Guests whiled away the time chatting, making new friends, playing a round of "boat bingo”, learning fun facts about the QM2 and listening to music from yesteryear. A quick auction also took place, with one of the items being a bag made from recycled life raft fabric.

Durban station


Finally, at 20H00, the time came for the ocean liner to depart, at which point the Station 5 crew launched Alick Rennie, their Offshore Rescue Craft (ORC) – a 14 metre search-and-rescue craft that is being phased into the NSRI fleet of rescue vessels.

Guests and NSRI crew alike were transfixed by the sight of this towering, sea-faring giant gliding gracefully from the harbour. Alick Rennie came alongside the QM2, whose lights provided guests with a dazzling show as they illuminated the wharf and blew her horn in farewell.

If you would like to know more about the NSRI Lifeboat Club or arrange a talk by an NSRI guest speaker in your area, contact Gerrie at gerrie@searescue.org.za.


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