Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Queen and Duke make a splash at Coastguard HQ

The Queen has made a visit to the headquarters of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in Bangor to see the lifesaving work carried out there.

Staff and volunteers gathered in the purpose-built facilities to meet Her Majesty and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh on their second official engagement of the day.

There was a heavy police presence in Bangor throughout the morning as news spread of the Royal visit and crowds of people began to gather outside the Coastguard headquarters.

Debra Whyte from Conlig came to Bangor to catch a glimpse and said: “I brought my five-month-old daughter, Chloe, because it’s not every day you get a chance to see the Queen.”

Once inside, the Queen and Prince Philip toured the building, meeting off-duty Coastguard officers and viewing the operation room workstations.

Watch assistant Hamish Brownlee, from Bangor, who has worked for the Coastguard for 14 years, said: “It was absolutely fantastic to meet them. They were very interested in what we had to say.”

Ian Murdock, watch manager with over 37 years experience in search and rescue, said: “This is only the second time that the Queen has visited the Coastguard so for her to come has been a real honour.”

And Gordon Munro, sector manager of Belfast North, gave a glowing account of his experience meeting the Royal couple. “She met all the greatest expectations I have ever had and more, with her demeanour and the position that she holds,” he said.

“I introduced them to all the people here and they were very interested that they are volunteers and wanted to know what they do for a living on top of their service to the Coastguard.”

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