Author Topic: QE2 1984 Fire - Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean  (Read 3217 times)

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Offline Twynkle

QE2 1984 Fire - Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean
« on: Jun 15, 2011, 08:44 AM »
Yesterday someone who was acquainted with QE2 from the technical /maritime perspective
asked me if I knew about QE2 drifting somewhere in the Atlantic!

Was this an event that is already on the Forum?
It would be good to know more - much more, even!!


Perhaps - was he referring to this?
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/archive/index.php/t-115401.html
« Last Edit: Jun 15, 2011, 08:46 AM by Twynkle »
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for nearly 12 years.  Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Online cunardqueen

Re: QE2 1984 Fire - Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean
« Reply #1 on: Jun 15, 2011, 06:10 PM »
This was actually mentioned a lot on cruise critic at the time.
On the 29th April 87 crossing to NY with her new engines we "stopped" for  short time.
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline ship pro

Re: QE2 1984 Fire - Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean
« Reply #2 on: Jun 16, 2011, 11:52 AM »
She was drifting for two days in mid atlantic, October 1984 after a switchboard fire caused a total loss of power and a consequential loss of lubrication to the propoulsion turbines which had to be opened up and new journal and thrust bearings installed.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: QE2 1984 Fire - Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean
« Reply #3 on: Jun 16, 2011, 12:30 PM »
That is fascinating information...

Now I feel like the child who wants to hear the rest of the story : "What happened next?" -- please tell.

Offline ship pro

Re: QE2 1984 Fire - Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean
« Reply #4 on: Jun 16, 2011, 03:18 PM »
The ships electrical power was restored in 8 hours and the ship had sufficient spares on board to rebuild the turbines which took a day and a half , shortly after she was back up to 30 knots.
There are lots of aspects to this failure starting with the cause which was due to a faulty interlock on one of the 3300 volt breakers that was being racked in to a live bus bar, consequently the breaker blew up causing the whole electrical system to be discharged like a massive blow torch through the faulty breaker!
During this time the electric lubricating oil pumps stopped and the emergency steam driven stand by lub oil pump cut in and then tripped out on a faulty overspeed link!! so the turbines were running at full speed with no lub oil- not good!

On this particular trip there were 30 press people on board, actually they had been in the control room 4 hours before the incident happened!!  naturally they all wanted to phone their papers which proved to be difficult as for some reason the radio room power was disconnected, however there was power for official comunications to discuss the options which included a tow back to halifax!!

 

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: QE2 1984 Fire - Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean
« Reply #5 on: Jun 16, 2011, 03:41 PM »
Sounds like a technical nightmare... What an extraordinary feat to have diagnosed all this and put it to rights in mid-Atlantic within such a limited number of hours, and to get her back to 30 knots so soon!

Had she drifted far in the interim?

The press people must have had a field day... when power was restored for their use.   ;)

I wonder how the passengers were affected, and whether there were a lot of complaints. Had I been there, I suspect I would have found it quite exciting. I wonder whether the bathrooms too were out of action -- but only for eight hours, that would have been quite bearable. Passengers would have worried more about the kitchens!

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 1984 Fire - Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean
« Reply #6 on: Jul 30, 2011, 11:48 AM »
Don't forget the Electrical Officer that was severly burned while racking the breaker in.
Also mentioned in Nigel Roberts book.

Offline ship pro

Re: QE2 1984 Fire - Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean
« Reply #7 on: Dec 07, 2011, 08:14 AM »
Apart from the Electrician, I am told 3 senior engineers who were in the main control room subsequently, within a couple of years, died of stomach cancer.
The high voltage switchboard that was on fire might have had  something to do with it.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 1984 Fire - Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean
« Reply #8 on: Oct 21, 2018, 11:08 PM »
Have we discussed this?

Does anyone know more?

Note: instagram picture no longer available
« Last Edit: Jun 04, 2020, 03:57 PM by Lynda Bradford »
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: QE2 1984 Fire - Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean
« Reply #9 on: Oct 21, 2018, 11:11 PM »
If that's the one that damaged the funnel, then yes - we have a thread somewhere.  Can't remember which year that was!

If it's another one... no, I don't think we have.
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Online Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 1984 Fire - Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean
« Reply #10 on: Oct 21, 2018, 11:33 PM »
If that's the one that damaged the funnel, then yes - we have a thread somewhere.  Can't remember which year that was!

If it's another one... no, I don't think we have.

The one that damaged the funnel and still shows to this day was in 1976. I think I may have seen this 1984 fire mentioned somewhere but don't know anything about it...maybe Michael or crew of the time know the details?
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2, in her new life, in Dubai back in January 2020.

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: QE2 1984 Fire - Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean
« Reply #11 on: Oct 21, 2018, 11:37 PM »
Ah... 1976 for the funnel... right, so this is a separate event and I don't recall reading about it before.

Maybe it is on here somewhere and I've forgotten...
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: QE2 1984 Fire - Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean
« Reply #12 on: Oct 22, 2018, 07:36 AM »
QE2 left New York on 27 October 1984 heading for Southampton where she was scheduled to arrive on 1 November. At 1514 hours on 29 October a short circuit in the switchboard resulted in an electrical fire in the main control room which caused a lot of smoke but was extinguished quickly. The ship blacked out and drifted and was not underway until 0400 hours on 30 October. No one was hurt.

QE2 was forced to operate at reduced capacity (on one boiler) while the main engine was not at full power. One engine remained working and the ship continued at reduced speed.

QE2 arrived in Southampton two days late on 3 November.

This had a knock-on effect on her scheduled. She was due to depart on a seven-day cruise on 2 November:

      2 November      Southampton
      3 November      At Sea
      4 November      At Sea
      5 November      Tenerife
      6 November      Madeira
      7 November      At Sea
      8 November      At Sea
      9 November      Southampton

Her revised itinerary:

      4 November      Southampton
      5 November      At Sea
      6 November      La Coruna
      7 November      Lisbon         
      8 November      At Sea
      9 November      Southampton

Offline Twynkle

Re: QE2 1984 Fire - Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean
« Reply #13 on: Oct 22, 2018, 09:14 AM »
Have we discussed this?

Does anyone know more?


Rob - There is a reference to the fire here on TQS  :

https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php?topic=3275.msg34993#msg34993
« Last Edit: Oct 23, 2018, 07:41 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for nearly 12 years.  Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

 

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