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The RMS Queen Mary Is In Danger Of Sinking, We Explore How It Got This Way




The Queen Mary, a historic ocean liner that was docked and turned into a tourist attraction 37 years ago, is seen where it still serves as a hotel and exhibit March 21, 2005 in Long Beach, California.
The Queen Mary, a historic ocean liner that was docked and turned into a tourist attraction 37 years ago, is seen where it still serves as a hotel and exhibit March 21, 2005 in Long Beach, California.
David McNew/Getty Images

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After years of mismanagement and neglect, the historic RMS Queen Mary is in danger of sinking. 

A longtime tourist attraction, The Queen Mary is now in a state of immediate repair. According to an inspection report from city-hired Elliott Bay Design Group; the ocean liner's drastic problems include a hull that has structural issues, an emergency generator in need of repair and a leaky piping issue. The firm estimated that the ship would need $23 million in urgent repairs. However, some experts have noted that the ship’s issues have been going on for more than 20 years, according to numerous reports by former Queen Mary inspector Edward Pribonic.

The ship has been through numerous voyages in its 85-year span - first as an express service, then a troopship during World War II and eventually a passenger service ocean liner until its permanent dock at Long Beach in 1967. 

The City of Long Beach owns the ship, but it leases it out to different operators who are in charge of maintaining the Queen Mary. However, its current operator Eagle Hospitality Trust just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January. 

Today on AirTalk, we detail the long history of the RMS Queen Mary’s neglect and learn what the future holds for the ship.

We reached out to Urban Commons, the former operator of the ship,  for an interview but they were unable to respond to us prior to the segment. If a response is given, this page will be updated.

Guests:

Kelly Puente, reporter for the Long Beach Post who has been covering this story; she tweets @KellyPuenteLB

John Keisler, director of economic development for the city of Long Beach; he tweets @jpkeisler

Edward Pribonic, professional engineer who has more than 30 years of experience in the amusement park industry; served as an inspector for the Queen Mary from 1996-2020