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Author Topic: "Kissed by a Queen"! (Kashima and QE2 in New York, 2000)  (Read 1997 times)

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Online Andy Holloway

A favourite story told by QE2 Captains, at the Captain’s Cocktail parties was the incident on 4 July 2000 when QE2 collided with the Japanese warship, Kashima in New York Harbour following 4th of July celebrations.

The QE2 was being steered by three tugs into her berth at Manhattan's pier 92. As the QE2 moved in, one of its stern tugs came loose and drifted off, leaving the liner to swing into the Kashima, which in turn was forced against the Navy frigate Manchester. 

The QE2 was left with a long scratch towards its stern and the Kashima suffered a dent.  But luckily there was not no serious damage

Following the incident the QE2 Captain had contacted the bridge of the Kashima to apologies and a Japanese Admiral onboard took the incident in good spirit. It was reported that he said it was an honour to be kissed by a Queen.



I read with interest the above and it reminded me of some more details of that incident!

QE2 had been at anchor in 'the roads' near the Verrazano Narrows Bridge' prior to this incident, this facilitated a grandstand view of the fireworks display that accompanies '4th July' evening celebrations in New York as well as providing an unprecedented view of the USN Navy flotilla as it entered the harbour earlier in the day.

So as to get 'the best seats' many passengers were up early that morning to stake their claim to not only a sun lounger, but the best positions on Boat Deck, some as early as 0500/0600!
Unfortunately they were not as well prepared as they had thought because they failed to take into account one 'tiny' details - THE TIDE!

By the time the festivities started the tide had changed and, instead of having the 'best seats in the house' for the sail by, all they had were lovely views of Gowanus Bay! 

The incident with the Japanese Frigate was as above with a couple of extra's.
Once QE2 was safely secured alongside the Captain 'asked' the Staff Captain, who i think was Captain Chris Wells, to visit the Japanese ship to apologise. It was during this visit that the Admiral made his now legendary remark.
As well as the Japanese frigate which was outboard of HMS Manchester, there was a Canadian frigate behind, outboard of a USN frigate in the same docking area as QE2 used, hence the slightly tight area to manoeuvre a ship as big and as unwieldy as QE2.
From my recollection the cause of the incident was that a tug Captain released his line early which meant that, with an out going tide, the strong current running down the Hudson River took charge of QE2's stern and she drifted across the slip, striking the Japanese frigate a glancing blow!
Another little known fact was that HMS Manchester was 'trialing' a new type of gangway for the RN, which was placed between them and the Japanese frigate. As QE2 struck the Japanese ship, it pushed their bow in, pulling their stern out and away from HMS Manchester, thereby breaking the lines securing the 'new' gangway and as a result dropping it into the harbour!   

So just another 'trannie' call into New York!!
« Last Edit: Jul 07, 2020, 11:16 AM by Rob Lightbody »

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: "Kissed by a Queen"!
« Reply #1 on: Jul 30, 2017, 06:06 PM »
Andy thank-you for taking time to write to give us first hand details of the incident. 

I knew of the story of the incident because it was often told at Captain cocktail parties. I remembered it happened during 4 July celebrations so when I was writing the July newsletter it seemed like the ideal story. 

Glad you could enhance the story.

I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Brandon Sterkel

Re: "Kissed by a Queen"!
« Reply #2 on: Jul 30, 2017, 06:43 PM »
Very interesting story, Andy! Thank you for sharing! I had no idea this incident took place!
Queen Elizabeth 2: A 50 Year Legend!

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: "Kissed by a Queen"!
« Reply #3 on: Nov 16, 2017, 08:21 PM »
Another reference to this incident, which happily was treated with a sense of humour :

With reference to the Japanese warship incident;

Captain Wright and his officers visited the Captains of the warships to apologise but as damage was limited to scratches, lost paintwork and severed lines holding the Kashima the naval officers were not concerned. The US Coast Guard considered the whole incident to be very minor.

HMS Manchester, which was inboard of the Kashima, was trialling a new style gangway, on loan from a UK company, that was connecting them. On the contact, as the Koshima's bow was being pushed into HMS Manchester, so the sterns moved further apart, until the distance was greater than the gangway's length! Sploosh!! Many hundreds of pounds [GBP] of gangway drop to the bottom of New York harbour!!

It would have made a great story line for 'The Navy Lark'!  "Left hand down  a bit Mr Phillips."


Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: "Kissed by a Queen"!
« Reply #4 on: Nov 16, 2017, 08:25 PM »
Here's the coverage on my website, which I put there at the time of the event.

http://www.roblightbody.com/july-2000---qe2-collides-with-kashima.html
Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: "Kissed by a Queen"!
« Reply #5 on: Nov 16, 2017, 08:35 PM »
Here's the coverage on my website, which I put there at the time of the event.

http://www.roblightbody.com/july-2000---qe2-collides-with-kashima.html

That's an extremely interesting and at times amusing eyewitness account by Hall Coons! Great to have the immediacy of a story written immediately after the event.

Offline Bob van Leeuwen

Re: "Kissed by a Queen"!
« Reply #6 on: Nov 17, 2017, 07:16 PM »
Just came across this topic - and I must say that the captain of the Japanese in ship is somebody whom we need more of in this world.


Are there any photographs on the internet of this event? I just did a quick Google search, and came up with nothing. (Might have been too quick  :-[ )

kevinh

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Re: "Kissed by a Queen"!
« Reply #7 on: Jan 29, 2018, 02:30 AM »
That guy's lucky!
Just came across this topic - and I must say that the captain of the Japanese in ship is somebody whom we need more of in this world.


Are there any photographs on the internet of this event? I just did a quick Google search, and came up with nothing. (Might have been too quick  :-[ )

You're right; if there were more people like him in the world, life would be a lot better.

Online Andy Holloway

Re: "Kissed by a Queen"!
« Reply #8 on: Jan 29, 2018, 11:16 AM »
Are there any photographs on the internet of this event? I just did a quick Google search, and came up with nothing. (Might have been too quick  :-[ )

It wasn't the sort of incident that either Cunard or New York Port Authority wanted to shout about too much and too be honest there wasn't a lot of subject matter to photograph, with no 'visible' damage to QE2 or the Japanese warship.
« Last Edit: Jan 29, 2018, 12:47 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »