Iconic California hotel and attraction Queen Mary at risk of capsizing


The Queen Mary in 1989, under the ownership of Disney.

George Rose / Getty Images

One of Southern California‘s most recognizable landmarks, the historic Queen Mary, an art deco luxury ship that has lived a second life as a hotel in Long Beach, is in danger of capsizing, according to a recent report by ‘inspection. The former large ship has fallen into a state of extreme disrepair in recent years, including “broken handrails, carpets held together with duct tape, corroded fire hoses and a rusty submarine in danger of sinking” , according to the Long Beach Post.

Built in Scotland during the Great Depression, the ocean liner is a beloved feature of the Southern California waterfront, recognizable to anyone who has driven California’s Pacific Coast Highway or taken a cruise from bustling Long Harbor. Beach. The ship’s maiden voyage took place in 1936, when it was considered the pinnacle of luxury and sophistication. Passengers included everyone from Clark Gable to Winston Churchill and the Royal Family. Then, in 1939, her life as the most glamorous ocean liner on the planet was abruptly cut short by World War II. The ship, which had set a speed record, was drafted into the war effort and turned into a personnel carrier and nicknamed the “Gray Ghost”.

Having survived both the Depression and World War II, the Queen Mary’s (at least at sea) retreat to Long Beach would appear just as tranquil. But the 83-year-old ship requires constant and expensive maintenance. After receiving $ 23 million from the city under a 66-year lease, current lessor Urban Commons ran out of money, according to the Long Beach Post report, and went bankrupt in January.

Documents released in a legal dispute between the City of Long Beach and Urban Commons show that not only is the ship no longer the lavish vessel it once was, but it poses a potential risk to the community. security. A naval architecture and marine engineering firm hired by the City of Long Beach to inspect the ship estimates it would cost an additional $ 23 million to repair the ship and keep it running safely.

The documents, as reported by post, specifically point to the lack of a functioning bilge pump and flood alarm systems, which could “result in flooding throughout the vessel, potential capsizing of the vessel and human safety and environmental issues as flooding has occurred, ”according to the Post report.

Closed throughout the pandemic, it now seems likely that the Queen Mary won’t reopen anytime soon.

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