LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A new marine survey warns the iconic Queen Mary in Long Beach desperately needs repairs and could sink if nothing is done soon to restore the historic 83-year-old ship.
According to naval architects and engineers who inspected the vessel, corrosion in the engine room has left the ship prone to flooding. Should that happen, there are no water-tight doors or working pumps to remove the water.
Corroded pillars also could lead to the collapse of an area, experts say.
Pictures from the Long Beach Press-Telegram show peeling paint and surface rust all over the ship.
A picture posted to Facebook late last year showed a leaky roof.
“Any area that would be considered unsafe for people would temporarily be shut down or inaccessible, and those would be the issues that we would address first,” Long Beach’s Economic and Property Development Director John Keisler said.
According to him, the city has designated $23 million for urgent repairs, and a plan to build entertainment around the ship would generate the tens of millions of dollars needed to do more repairs.
“We know what we’re going to deal with, and we know our partner, Urban Commons, who’s going to be sharing in this investment with the city over the next 66 years that they said: ‘we’re in’,” Keisler added.
Urban Commons sent a statement saying: “Our team is already in full swing making critical structural renovations and repairs to ensure the Queen Mary is well equipped for the next 80 years, and we will continue to identify and address the most pressing items using the marine survey as a roadmap.”
The repairs are expected to cost at least $230 million.
The Queen Mary was built in the 1930s in Clydebank, Scotland. Long Beach purchased the ocean liner almost 50 years ago after it was retired.
The ship is now a floating hotel, tourist attraction and an event venue.