Legendary Queen Mary Ocean Liner Closes for Repairs, First in Decades

© Wikipedia / David JonesRMS Queen Mary
RMS Queen Mary - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.01.2022
The Queen Mary set sail in 1934 and docked at Long Beach harbor in 1967 at the completion of her final voyage, after decades of transporting over 2 million people on over 1,000 North Atlantic cruises. It was transformed into a floating hotel, attraction, and event site off the coast of Southern California.
The city of Long Beach, California, which owns the historic ocean liner Queen Mary, announced that the ship is undergoing "critical repairs," the first such in decades.
The ship will remain closed for the public until the repairs, totaling about $5 million, are finished, except for film location work, as it helps "generate revenue to support the ship operations," according to a city statement released on Thursday.
"It is our responsibility to preserve the Queen Mary and ensure this historic landmark is properly cared for," the city Mayor Robert Garcia is quoted in the statement as saying. "Now that the city has full oversight and control of the Queen, it’s important we make the critical repairs needed."
The repair works, which are set to begin in February, will include the removal of the ship's deteriorating lifeboats, which have been putting stress on the ship's side shell and causing major breaches in its support system.
Officials claim that removing the lifeboats will improve the Queen Mary's structural stability.
Two of the original lifeboats will be kept, while the remaining 13 will be housed while the city gauges interest in conserving them from museums and other groups. Among other things, the repairs will include the installation of new permanent bilge pumps and enhancements to a water incursion detection system.
The repairs are needed as a result of "decades of deferred maintenance by former operators of the ship and are critical for its preservation," according to the statement.
According to local media reports, the Queen Mary will require up to $289 million in upgrades, including $23 million in immediate repairs, to keep it from leaking.

“Addressing these critical repairs has been a long time coming and an effort that will greatly benefit the structural safety and historical preservation of the Queen Mary,” city Councilmember Mary Zendejas said in a statement. “With the City now overseeing control of the ship, I am confident this year will bring tremendous progress towards protecting this historic feature of our community.”

For the first time in over 40 years, the city of Long Beach regained ownership of the Queen Mary in July last year, and the City Council was given many choices for dealing with the ship, including disassembling or scuttling her.
Since then, according to the statement, the City has prepared the specifications and plans for the essential repairs with the support of marine engineering specialists based on prior studies, and has identified major milestones for the project as well as an expected completion date later this year.
The city has already completed electrical work to re-light one of the ship's funnels, which serves as a prominent nighttime focal point.
The ship, named after the wife of King George V of the United Kingdom, was laid down in 1930 by the Cunard-White Star Line, known for the Titanic liner and the disaster that happened to it. She was transformed into a troopship when World War II broke out, and the ship carried Allied troops throughout the war. Since it has been moored, the ship is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.
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