Author Topic: 1976 fire, explosion & damage to QE2 including the funnel  (Read 21118 times)

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Offline Trevor Harris

Re: 1976 fire, explosion & damage to QE2 including the funnel
« Reply #30 on: Aug 10, 2017, 05:06 PM »
I suppose that's the beauty of the World Wide Web in many but not all cases - basically infinite editing! Well at least with most online forums.

The W.W.W can be a ugly liar sometimes. Misleading information is still put out there.
Enjoyer of classic cinema, literature, and music.

Offline Elizabeth Mork

Re: 1976 fire, explosion & damage to QE2 including the funnel
« Reply #31 on: Jan 09, 2018, 04:25 PM »
I was 4 years old when we took this ill fated voyage.  My Dad was a history professor at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and wanted us to experience a transatlantic crossing.  He had fond memories of traveling this way.  We had just spent a year in Hamburg, Germany where he ran a program with Purdue University. 

My brother who was 10, sister who was 8, and I all shared one cabin.  And my parents had another cabin on the other side of emergency doors - I'm sure they don't do this today.  I've asked my mother, brother, and sister to look this up so they may and comment as well.  My Dad passed away in 2012. 

I wanted to thank the crew members who fought the fire.  Apparently we were close enough to the fire that were were asked to leave our cabins and put our life jackets on even though the entire ship wasn't under alarm at that time.  We were treated well as I recall on the return.  We were flown home of course.  We had our car on the ship, and it was delivered later so I remember we had a rental car for a couple weeks.  I wish I remembered more as I was only 4 years old. 

Reading these stories makes me grateful for the actions of the crew as this could have been so much worse.  So I wanted to thank the crew that saved the ship and everyone on it.  I was saddened to learn of the injuries to Ken Lyon, but am glad to hear his story. 

Thanks so much to everyone from the Mork family

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: 1976 fire, explosion & damage to QE2 including the funnel
« Reply #32 on: Jan 09, 2018, 07:01 PM »
Welcome to the Forum Elizabeth and thanks for sharing your story.  It is always wonderful to hear about first hand experiences.
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline June Ingram

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Re: 1976 fire, explosion & damage to QE2 including the funnel
« Reply #33 on: Jan 09, 2018, 07:46 PM »
Welcome, Elizabeth, to The QE2 Story Forum.  It is great to have you join us, and I look forward to hearing more about your QE2 memories and your family's memories of QE2.  Please look around The Forum and I am sure you will find many interesting topics.  June   :) 
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Trevor Harris

Re: 1976 fire, explosion & damage to QE2 including the funnel
« Reply #34 on: Jan 09, 2018, 10:00 PM »
I was 4 years old when we took this ill fated voyage.  My Dad was a history professor at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and wanted us to experience a transatlantic crossing.  He had fond memories of traveling this way.  We had just spent a year in Hamburg, Germany where he ran a program with Purdue University. 

My brother who was 10, sister who was 8, and I all shared one cabin.  And my parents had another cabin on the other side of emergency doors - I'm sure they don't do this today.  I've asked my mother, brother, and sister to look this up so they may and comment as well.  My Dad passed away in 2012. 

I wanted to thank the crew members who fought the fire.  Apparently we were close enough to the fire that were were asked to leave our cabins and put our life jackets on even though the entire ship wasn't under alarm at that time.  We were treated well as I recall on the return.  We were flown home of course.  We had our car on the ship, and it was delivered later so I remember we had a rental car for a couple weeks.  I wish I remembered more as I was only 4 years old. 

Reading these stories makes me grateful for the actions of the crew as this could have been so much worse.  So I wanted to thank the crew that saved the ship and everyone on it.  I was saddened to learn of the injuries to Ken Lyon, but am glad to hear his story. 

Thanks so much to everyone from the Mork family
Hi Elizabeth! Welcome to the forum! You had a very interesting story! Enjoy the forum!
Enjoyer of classic cinema, literature, and music.

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: 1976 fire, explosion & damage to QE2 including the funnel
« Reply #35 on: Jan 09, 2018, 10:22 PM »
Welcome aboard Elizabeth! An amazing but equally terrifying experience and memory.
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last 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, in January 2020 and August 2022.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: 1976 fire, explosion & damage to QE2 including the funnel
« Reply #36 on: Jan 09, 2018, 10:55 PM »
Thank you so much for taking the time to come here and share your story with us and thanking the crew all these decades later!  Your thanks will stay attached to the topic for people to find in future Google searches.

Amazing stuff.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

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Re: 1976 fire, explosion & damage to QE2 including the funnel
« Reply #37 on: Jan 10, 2018, 12:06 AM »
Liz (I can call you that, right?), welcome to The QE2 Story. You're lucky to have been on the great ship while she was still operating, and it's pretty neat you remember stuff from that age, as I can't remember much. You being in a fire was also pretty epic; you must be grateful the good LORD was watching over you as those men took it out.

I could go on, but I'm pretty busy at the moment so I don't have the time...
But welcome again, to the Forum. :) (As a side note, I'm currently working part-time on a QE2 mini-series. Episode 1 is already out and Episode 2 is due this week. Check it out: as a former QE2 passenger, I think you'll like it.)

Offline Elizabeth Mork

Re: 1976 fire, explosion & damage to QE2 including the funnel
« Reply #38 on: Jan 10, 2018, 07:12 PM »
Thanks.  I wish I remembered more, but perhaps my family can provide more details. 

Offline Eric Hibler

Re: 1976 fire, explosion & damage to QE2 including the funnel
« Reply #39 on: Jul 14, 2018, 03:59 AM »
I was approximately 10-yrs old when we started the crossing. Our family (Father, Mother, 11-yr old sister and 1-yr old brother). We were moving back to the U.S. after living in Switzerland, Italy and Belgium for the previous 7+ years while my father was working with NATO and defense systems.
My mother remembers the night of the fire this way: Crew member knocked on the door and asked to have everyone report to the deck and put on the life jackets. She says she could smell smoke, but she no sign of fire. According to her, the crew was nice and calm and did a great job keeping all the passengers calm. She thinks that we were on deck an hour or 2 and then allowed back to the cabin. I don't remember anything of any fire. I only remember having a blast on the short time we were on the ship. I loved the pool with the sloshing water and I am pretty sure I saw a movie on board as well (I want to say the was Gargantua, but that might just have been a movie I saw recently somewhere else...child memory).
I think it is a tribute to the way everything was handled by the crew that I have absolutely no memory of the incident. I do remember the dissapointment when we turned around and had to disembark.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: 1976 fire, explosion & damage to QE2 including the funnel
« Reply #40 on: Jul 14, 2018, 07:17 AM »
Welcome on board, Eric!

Thank you for sharing your memories (and your mother's) of a monumental day in the history of QE2, which has left her with a scarred funnel to this very day.

It is such a credit to the crew of the ship that passengers were well taken care of and quietly brought to safety, with most of them totally unaware of the fire and the danger to which the fire-fighting crew were exposed.


Online Andy Holloway

Re: 1976 fire, explosion & damage to QE2 including the funnel
« Reply #41 on: Jul 14, 2018, 10:56 AM »

I forgot about the April 1974 boiler trouble and subsequent power failure incident, although if I'm to be pedantic it wasn't really "abandoning ship" in an emergency situation.

Also I incorrectly stated that the repair to the valve in May 2002 was effected in Southampton. According to the topic on the very event, elsewhere on this forum, the repair was effected in New York as the transatlantic crossing was in the opposite direction to what I stated and thought it was. I've been publicly stupid yet again  ::) haha.

The day of QE2's arrival in NY - unfortunately - coincided with 'Navy Week' and, as has been written in a previous post, caused considerable disruption to the repairs due to restrictions on diving in NY harbour.
« Last Edit: Jul 14, 2018, 09:52 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Offline June Ingram

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Re: 1976 fire, explosion & damage to QE2 including the funnel
« Reply #42 on: Jul 15, 2018, 01:21 AM »
Welcome, Eric, to The QE2 Story Forum !  We are very pleased that you have joined us and have shared your memories and your Mum's memories with us.  Please join in on more conversations and share more details if you can ! June :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Kate Pocock

Re: 1976 fire, explosion & damage to QE2 including the funnel
« Reply #43 on: Apr 24, 2019, 10:59 PM »
Hello,
I watched a program recently on the PBS channel about the QE2, and I was excited about this as I was a student passenger on that QE2 voyage in 1976, travelling from Europe to New York when that fire broke out. I believe I boarded in northern France somewhere as I remember that I visited Bayeux before boarding at Cherbourg.

I was 25 at the time, and had just finished up a year of study at the Sorbonne in Paris. Back then, the price was right on the QE2 to travel back to North America and then to my home in Ottawa, Canada.

The film and forum were interesting as it proved my memory correct. We were woken up by the captain through loud speakers, and we could hear some noisy alarm signals. The message was that we were to report to our lifeboat stations. Once on deck in my life jacket, groggy and so looking forward to a full night of sleep, I quickly realized that this was a true emergency.

There were quite high flames shooting out of a funnel, the lifeboats had been lowered somewhat, and we were being organized in groups according to our stations. I was travelling alone, but was also looking out for my roommate that I had just met that day. Thankfully, the fire was extinguished by the crew and we were able to go back to bed. However, no one was able to sleep that night.

The ship limped back to England and a group of Americans launched a kind of grievance committee, so that they could help with individual needs such as pets on board, or cars, or people who were handicapped and needed help. A desk was set up in one of the lounges. The ship’s doctor happened to be at my table, and he had taken this week as a kind of holiday locum. It was no vacation for him at all as some passengers were afraid, nervous, a bit sick with the permanent slant of the ship as it sailed slowly back to Britian, and worried as to how to get their belongings, cars, pets, to New York. I believe he also looked after the man who was badly hurt.

I remember that there was some kind of a dock strike in Britain, so we were asked if we could carry our own suitcases off the ship. On the quay, despite it being a Sunday, there were cages with family pets, piles of luggage, lots of movement and a bit of chaos, before we were bussed to the airport.

Many other passengers boarded my Pan Am flight, and the pilot was terrific. To allay our common fear of flying, he told periodic jokes, and some interesting information on our flight pattern as we flew back across the Atlantic to NY City. I was never so glad to touch the terra firma of North America and see my dad who had come from Canada to meet me in NY City. The loud sounds of the cabbies and all the hubbub were very welcome. And every time I board a ship, I think of this night, and always hunt out my life preserver and check the safety routes on the ship.

I was dismayed when on a recent Caribbean cruise, the lifeboat drill was made into a kind of quiz game. Most people arrived without life jackets and there was chatter and clinking of glasses throughout. It was more like a cocktail party than a rehearsal for a potential emergency. I did complain to the Captain and staff and hopefully this will be changed for the better.
Thank you very much,
Kate Pocock, Toronto Canada

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: 1976 fire, explosion & damage to QE2 including the funnel
« Reply #44 on: Apr 25, 2019, 10:01 AM »
Thank-you Kate for posting your incredibly detailed, first hand account of the incident.  It was fascinating to learn about the grievance committee having been set up. I can only imagine the dismay of the passengers having to carry luggage and pets from the ship after having experienced such a dramatic event.

I agree that on some cruses passengers do not always appreciate the importance of the safety drill which could save lives in an emergency.
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

 

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