Queen Mary liner affected; correction could cost $300, survey finds

The cruise ship Queen Mary is seen in this May 15, 2015 photo.

(AP Photo/John Antczak)

LONG BEACH, California. – The Queen Mary is so damaged that the urgent risk of flooding or collapse, and the price tag for the refurbishment of the 1930s ocean liner may be in the neighborhood of $300 million, according to a study carried out by experts.

It would probably be five-year rehab of the ship, a tourist destination permanently docked in the Port of Long Beach south of Los Angeles, according to the documents obtained by the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

During its heyday, the Queen Mary carried Hollywood celebrities, such as Bob Hope and Elizabeth Taylor, royalty like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and dignitaries like Winston Churchill. It also spent several years ferrying 765,000 Allied troops during the second world War, when it was nicknamed the “Gray Ghost.”

But now, naval architects and marine engineers who compiled the survey warn that the ship is likely to be “approaching the point of no return.”

The trunk is severely corroded and in certain areas, including the engine room, can be prone to flooding, according to the newspaper report published Monday. And because the lens system is not ready for a large amount of water can not be pumped out and the ship to sink to the lagoon floor.

In addition, the pillar supports for a raised floor in a space in the exhibition to be affected and could face “immediate collapse” under the weight of just a few people, the survey said.

Approximately 75 percent of the repairs were considered to be “urgent”.

The Queen Mary in Long Beach its permanent home in 1967. Now a floating hotel with shops, restaurants and event space, the ship attracts 1.3 million visitors per year.

Officials from the city said that the findings will be discussed with the ship of the current tenant, the Urban Commons, and both parties are committed to the preservation of the historic asset, and to ensure that it can safely remain open to the public. In November, Long Beach approved a $23 million address of the ship of the most urgent repairs, and the Urban Commons is working to make additional money.

“We have a timeline in which the engineers believe that they can fill those immediate projects,” said John Keisler, economic and material development of the director. “These are the big challenges we can only cover the course of time; it can’t all be done at once.”

The condition is so severe that politicians in Scotland, where the Queen Mary was built, have called for an international action to recover of the former Cunard shipping company. They have urged Secretary Theresa May to put pressure on the U.S. government to step in and save their architectural wealth, according to a recent report in Scotland’s national newspaper.

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