Boats will form biggest flotilla in modern times

Spitfire of the Sea HSL 102 is taking part
Spitfire of the Sea HSL 102 is taking part
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BOATS from across the area are lining up to take part in a huge pageant on the River Thames alongside the royal family.

In what will be the biggest flotilla in modern times, thousands of sailors will escort the royal barge down the Thames.

From warships to sailing boats, the vessels will stretch for around 12.5 miles.

First in the line-up is a large group of man-powered boats followed by the Royal Squadron.

The Royal Squadron includes the Royal Barge, which will be carrying the Queen and other members of the royal family.

In this section will also be the RNLI lifeboats, and three lifeboat volunteers from Portsmouth’s lifeboat station will be among them.

Following the Royal Squadron are little ships and historic boats, including Gunwharf-based HSL 102, a launch used by the RAF in the Second World War to rescue airmen.

Next along are service, steam and leisure vessels.

These are followed by narrow boats and barges and passenger boats.

Other vessels will line up in the Thames along the route, including the Joint Services Adventurous Sail Training Centre’s yacht Endeavour, which is based at Haslar.