Two old school friends, who both joined the Navy but haven’t seen each other for more than two decades, will be reunited this weekend as the Titanic Maritime Festival begins in Belfast.
Belfast-born Navy Commanding Officer Mark Anderson will sail HMS Richmond into the city’s port today, before it throws open its gangway to visitors tomorrow and Sunday.
Awaiting him on the jetty 22 years later will be former Methodist College classmate and friend Mark McCrea who also took the naval route and is now a lieutenant.
While the pair began their days together in physics class, Anderson headed to Scotland to study the subject at St Andrew’s University, while McCrea went to study Aeronautical Engineering at Queen’s, before both going on to join the Royal Navy.
Commander Anderson said he is proud to be able to take his ship to Belfast for the weekend’s celebrations.
“Having been born and educated in Belfast I am particularly delighted to have the opportunity to bring HMS Richmond to Belfast for the Titanic Maritime Festival.”
An off-shore patrol vessel, LE Roisin, will also be berthed for the weekend and both vessels will be open to the public between 12pm and 5pm each day to show visitors what life is like at sea in the 21st century.
For more information about the festival visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/events.