With up to 750,000 visitors expected in Belfast over the next four days, a number of volunteers from Bangor and Red Bay lifeboat stations will be on call to provide a 24-hour search and rescue service during the event.
The crew will operate from a temporary lifeboat station located in Belfast Harbour Marina and will respond to any emergency on Belfast Lough using an Atlantic 85 relief lifeboat.
During the Tall Ships Parade on Sunday, both the Atlantic 85 lifeboat and an all-weather Trent class lifeboat crewed by Donaghadee RNLI will be operational on Belfast Lough for search and rescue capabilities.
Speaking ahead of the Tall Ships Races, RNLI divisional operations manager Darren Byers said: "For the duration of the weekend and specifically to accommodate the large numbers expected to descend on Belfast to watch the Tall Ships spectacle, the RNLI will be fully operational at the heart of where all the activities will be taking place.
"Belfast RNLI will operate for four days only supported by its nearest lifeboat stations at Bangor and Larne. This means should there be an emergency during the event, we can reduce the time it takes to get on scene while maintaining a business as usual operation at our flank lifeboat stations."
The RNLI will have a significant presence on site throughout the weekend and has been honoured to be chosen by Tall Ships Belfast as one of five key maritime charities to benefit.
As well as a fully operational lifeboat station, the RNLI will have an all-weather Trent class lifeboat afloat which can be viewed from the quayside at Belfast Harbour Marina. Volunteer lifeboat crew will be on hand to answer any questions and to demonstrate how they use the lifeboat for search and rescue.
RNLI lifeguards who patrol 10 beaches in Northern Ireland during the summer season will also be displaying the rescue water craft and lifesaving kit they use.
Visitors to the RNLI areas can also take part in the ‘Get Your Kit on Challenge’. This is a timed challenge that pits members of the public against the clock to see how long it takes them to put on an inshore lifeboat crew member’s full kit: dry suit with yellow wellies, lifejacket with crotch straps and helmet. The lifeboat crew do this in seconds as they race to launch the lifeboat on a callout.
RNLI community fundraising manager Nicola Kelly is looking forward to the event. "The RNLI is hosting a variety of engaging activities at Tall Ships Belfast and we are honoured to have been selected as one of the official charities to benefit," she said.
"We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to the RNLI areas and hope that in doing so we can provide an entertaining, informative and interesting aspect to the full programme being provided.
"As well as saving lives at sea and on inland waters, the RNLI also provides education along with sea safety advice and demonstrations and we hope spectators can sample a flavour of that this weekend."