Author Topic: QE2's Hull Patches - what was each one from?  (Read 3196 times)

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Online Rob Lightbody

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QE2's Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« on: Nov 13, 2017, 08:21 PM »
This month's photo competition topic got me looking through my photos.

I saw this photo (attached) which clearly shows a large patch across 2 portholes of cabins on 5-deck. Can we link this patch to a QE2 Story that we've featured here?

« Last Edit: Apr 07, 2018, 10:35 AM by Rob Lightbody »
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Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #1 on: Nov 13, 2017, 09:41 PM »
The patch itself seems to be dented; is this a part of the hull that is particularly vulnerable to being struck by debris in the water, I wonder?
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Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #2 on: Nov 13, 2017, 10:28 PM »
The patch itself seems to be dented; is this a part of the hull that is particularly vulnerable to being struck by debris in the water, I wonder?

I have pictures with scratches and dents in the same sort of places. The crew put them down to the Moran tugs in New York, which have a tough job to do, pushing QE2 out of a fast flowing river.

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #3 on: Nov 13, 2017, 10:30 PM »
Interesting... that suggests Rob's patch might have been to simply repair accumulated bumps and dents over time?
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Offline Oceanic

Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #4 on: Nov 13, 2017, 10:37 PM »
Tugs seem the most likely culprit with the way the damage is concentrated on a particular area.
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Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #5 on: Nov 13, 2017, 10:40 PM »
It's not dents. It's a large rectangular patch.
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.

Offline Lachlan

Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #6 on: Nov 13, 2017, 11:32 PM »
I think the patch has a dent in it, too. Would Five Deck would be about prow height above the waterline for a tug?

I'd never noticed that the port holes have rivets around their periphery. Presumably there's a reinforcing ring on the inside to strengthen the aperture in the plating.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #7 on: Nov 14, 2017, 01:05 AM »
I'd never noticed that the port holes have rivets around their periphery. Presumably there's a reinforcing ring on the inside to strengthen the aperture in the plating.

It's only the lower ones. These are also the decks where deadlights get closed if there is a threat of a storm.

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #8 on: Nov 14, 2017, 01:36 AM »
It's only the lower ones. These are also the decks where deadlights get closed if there is a threat of a storm.

On Six Deck, the deadlights were permanently shut if I remember correctly for the storm reason but also general safety (they were underwater a lot of the time).
« Last Edit: Nov 14, 2017, 01:39 AM by Thomas Hypher »
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 Michael Gallagher

Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #9 on: Nov 14, 2017, 07:04 AM »
Pier Collision - 1974

While in Cherbourg on 27 October 1974 bad weather delayed QE2’s scheduled departure time of 1800 hours. At 2200 hours there was a lull in the weather and it was agreed between the French pilot and Captain Hehir to take her out. It was when she leaving Cherbourg she was caught by a violent 70-mph gust of wind which ultimately drove the ship against the Normandie Quay.

Before that, one cable snapped, injuring two dockers, and then two lines became tangled in the propellers. The ship drifted helplessly for 50 yards broadside on before crashing into the jetty.

During the incident a gash was made in the ship’s side, portside aft in the area of the crew cabins. The gash measured 30-foot long by 2 inches deep and was approximately 15-feet above water level on Five Deck.

Two French dockers were injured and one had to have a leg amputated – only a desperate struggle by QE2’s Captain to hold the ship against the gale saved the men from being crushed to death.

12 Tourist Class and ten crew cabins and 12 were in the affected area and were damaged either by the indent or the cut in the fire sprinkler line which flooded them.

QE2 returned back to port for an examination of the damage by marine surveyors.

Cunard:

“Towards midnight the wind had abated and the ship sailed. As she was leaving port a gust estimated at between 40- and 60-mph hit the liner and she struck the pier. The hole in the ship’s side is about 15 feet above the waterline just below Number Five Deck”.

Repairs were undertaken by the French navy at a cost of £5,000.

There were 1,630 passengers on board and a number chose to abandon their trip and fly to New York instead. QE2’s subsequent departure from Cherbourg to New York was delayed 48 hours and the ship sailed on 30 October. The financial consequences of the delay would have an impact of £120,000. Cunard had originally blueprinted to lose £189,000 on the 27 October Atlantic crossing and the Paresky cruises (the period 27 October to 17 November) – when the £120,000 due to the delay was included then QE2 lost £309,000 in this period.


See also discussions on topics Crash with pier at Cherbourg 27/10/1074]and QE2 Repairs 27 to 31 October 1974
« Last Edit: Dec 24, 2017, 11:06 AM by Lynda Bradford »

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #10 on: Nov 14, 2017, 07:05 AM »
Collision with Coral Reef - 1975

On 31 December 1975 QE2 was manoeuvring in the ‘swinging’ ground at Nassau prior to sailing. The seas were choppy and the wind was rough. As her bow turned, her underwater bulbous bow collided with a coral reef and was holed. Passengers reported a ‘jolt’ but there was no panic.

Damage was reported to be a six-foot fracture of the bow, with a jagged hole 18 inches to 20 inches in diameter, and plating was heavily indented.

On 2 January a temporary five-foot concrete patch was fitted by a diver when QE2 arrived as per her schedule at Port Everglades to land passengers prior to continuing her voyage to New York. QE2 remained in Port Everglades for 24 hours.

However, on the voyage to New York the temporary repairs started to leak and QE2 began to take on water again. Her speed was reduced to 15½ knots and Cunard had her diverted to Newport News in Norfolk, Virginia, for further inspection and repairs.

The 1,181 passengers were disembarked here and 500 were repatriated to New York on specially-chartered train (at a cost of £1,250) – a journey which was also beset with mechanical problems and delays.

QE2 was put into dry-dock for 48 hours where an eight-foot steel plate was welded into place.

QE2 eventually arrived in New York on 8 January and sailed that day on a revised nine-day (instead of 14) Caribbean cruise.

Captain Hehir was held responsible but on 28 January, the liner’s next call at the port, Staff captain Peter Jackson along with First Officers Sturge and Warwick and members of the ship’s sub-aqua diving club took a boat and set off to investigate the reef. To the exoneration of their Captain they found, by use of sextant readings and landmarks, that the reef had been incorrectly charted: instead of running practically straight it had two 50-foot headlands and on one of these, which projected from the charted line, was evidence of QE2’s collision. A marker buoy was also found to be incorrectly moored (being 130 feet away from its recorded position) and the two errors combined confounded the ship’s navigators’ assumption that the safe water that they had reason to expect was not there.

Permanent repairs were made to the bulbous bow in January 1977 at Bayonne (New Jersey) during a special repairs period.

See also discussions on topics:
31 December QE2 Collides with Coral Reef in Nassau
Repairs 4 to 7 January 1976
Repairs and refit 3 to 14 January 1977
« Last Edit: Dec 24, 2017, 11:22 AM by Lynda Bradford »

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #11 on: Nov 14, 2017, 07:05 AM »
Bow Anchor Loss - 1976

On 28 November 1976 QE2, en route from Cherbourg for New York, ran into a really foul night of Atlantic weather. At 0120 hours the 12.5-ton bow anchor came adrift and ripped a hole in the bulbous bow on its way into the sea. Constant pumping evicted the incoming Atlantic water.

QE2 was diverted to Boston, where she arrived on 2 December, for repairs which involved fitting metal patches inside and out. The ship had to be tilted slightly by ballasting to enable workmen to repair the gash.

Work was completed in time to allow QE2 to sail on her Caribbean cruise on schedule (3 December) with the cruise passengers being brought to Boston from New York by plane and train.


Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #12 on: Nov 14, 2017, 07:06 AM »
Aground - 1981

On 6 January 1981, during QE2’s New Years Cruise, she went aground for about an hour at the entrance to San Juan while entering the port. Strong winds outside the harbour had pushed the ship, which was carrying about 1,600 passengers, out of the Channel. Tugs refloated the ship and QE2 returned to port where divers established there had been no damage or holing but a buoy was wrapped around her rudder.

QE2 continued her voyage.

Alan Snelson remembers this event
« Last Edit: Dec 27, 2017, 02:36 PM by Lynda Bradford »

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #13 on: Nov 14, 2017, 07:06 AM »
Collision with Breakwater - 1984


During the last leg of her 1984 World Cruise QE2 arrived in Piraeus for an overnight stay on 31 March. At 0044 hours on 1 April QE2 was blown onto the south breakwater head and suffered a large dent in the area of the mechanics accommodation.

Repairs were made when the ship called in Lisbon overnight (5 and 6 April).

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #14 on: Nov 14, 2017, 07:07 AM »
Collision with Quay - 1987

On 3 December 1987, when entering Tenerife, high winds pushed QE2 onto the quay wall which buckled one of her hull plates to a depth of nine inches. The ship was delayed in the port for 24 hours while a temporary replacement plate was patched over the damaged area before the ship continued with her cruise. The call at the Cape Verde Islands was cancelled.

Permanent repairs were made to the damaged hull plate during her visit to the Lloyd Werft Shipyard in July 1988 (23 – 31) when her propellers were replaced.

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #15 on: Nov 14, 2017, 07:10 AM »
Grounding - 1992

Having spent the day of 7 August off the north east tip of the island of Martha’s Vineyard QE2 weighed anchor just after 2030 hours and headed south-west. On the Bridge were Captain Robin Woodall, the Staff Captain, the First Officer, two deck ratings and an experienced US pilot, Captain John F Hadley. It had been assumed by the Pilot that he would follow the same route to exit the Sound as he had used when he took the ship in earlier that day - but he changed his mind.

There was much small boat traffic around QE2 and ferries were frequently travelling between Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven and Woods Hole. Later the density of the traffic had reduced so at 2120 hours the speed was gradually increased to approximately 25 knots from 17 knots.

After making a projected plot from the course required the Second Officer realised that the ship would be sailing over the Sow and Pigs Reef that extended out from Cuttyhunk Island. The Captain was advised of this and he discussed the situation with the Pilot. The Pilot agreed and QE2 was turned to the southwest.

At 2158 hours QE2 had reached a point approximately 3.5 miles SSW of Cuttyhunk Island and was about to pass over the southern tip of the shoaling seabed as she prepared to skirt the main areas of the reefs when she experienced two periods of heavy vibration in quick succession.

The engines began to slow and QE2 began to lose speed. Captain Woodall contacted the Staff Chief Engineer in the Engine Control Room who reported that the propeller shafts were still turning at 144 rpm and that he was instructing his staff to check for possible damage. Thus mechanical breakdown was quickly ruled out and the First Officer confirmed that QE2 had not been involved in a collision with another vessel.

Captain Woodall:

“My first thought was that this was a catastrophic machinery failure; an engine broken loose or a propeller had come off!”

The Second Officer reported to the Captain that QE2 was in an area where the chart indicated a sounding of six and a half fathoms (39 feet). Other personnel, including the Chief Officer and the Senior First Officer arrived on the Bridge. The Pilot checked the charted position of the vessel with his own observation of the after radar display.

The Pilot and Captain soon concurred that QE2 had probably passed through an area where the water was not as deep as the charts indicated.

The Chief Officer was instructed to undertake internal soundings in order to determine the extent of the damage. Hold spaces, dry tanks and void spaces and the tanks were all checked, and it was soon ascertained that there was water in what should have been empty ballast and oil overflow tanks.

The Captain made a general announcement throughout the ship to the effect that QE2 had appeared to have struck an underwater object but that she was quite safe and the matter was being investigated. AT 2236 hours the Pilot reported the incident to the United States Coast Guard at Point Judith.

Further damage assessments concluded that the No 15 Freshwater Double-Bottom Tank, which had previously been slack, was now full and pressurised; a cofferdam located between NO 13, 14 and 15 Freshwater Double-Bottom Tanks and No 8, 9 and 10 Fuel Oil Double-Bottom Tanks, were also found to be full and some buckling was found in the tank top of no 3 Hold.

A possible sighting of oil in the water around the liner was reported to the Captain and, at 2252 hours, the Pilot informed the USCG of this. AT 2255 hours, the vessel was instructed to anchor and wait for the arrival of the USCG boarding party.

There was no panic among the passengers and the evening entertainment continued as scheduled with many passengers taking advantage of free drinks now being offered in the bars.

At 2232 hours QE2 was anchored in a position with Buzzards Lighthouse and shortly afterwards Lifeboat 11 was lowered to the water to search for signs of oil pollution. The Chief Officer reported a light sheen on the water surface in the area below the port bridge wing and he also reported the draughts of the vessel which were noted to equate to those calculated by the Stability Officer; no visible damage was reported.

At 2400 hours ballast pumping operations from No1 Saltwater Double-Bottom Ballast Tank were terminated. At the same time No 14 Freshwater Double-Bottom Tank was found to be pressurised and the contents of No 14 and No 15 Freshwater Double-Bottom Tanks were sampled and found to contain saltwater.

At 0215 hours Coast Guard vessel Bittersweet arrived on site and Coastguards boarded QE2.

The Forward Engine Room Void Space was found to be taking in water.

QE2 was carrying 923,454 gallons of oil fuel, of which there was a danger of about 40,000 gallons leaking, so the Coastguards ordered an oil containment boom to be placed from amidships on one side of the QE2, around her stern to amidships on the other side and this was in place by 0650 hours.

In accordance with regulations a nurse boarded QE2 in order to perform drug and alcohol tests on the Captain, First Officer and Pilot. These tests would later report that only low levels of caffeine had been found.

From 0700 to 0725 hours floodwater from the Forward Engine Room Void Space was pumped directly overboard under USCG observation followed by water being pumped overboard from NO 12 Saltwater Double-Bottom Tank.

In order to assess the extent of hull damage divers were sent down.

It had been decided that the passengers would have to be disembarked. At 1405 hours the passenger launch Schamonchi arrived alongside. Initially 555 passengers were taken ashore at 1500 hours.

At 1730 hours permission was granted for QE2 to proceed towards Newport where she anchored at 2006 hours. This would make disembarking the remainder of the passengers easier and that operation was commenced again at 2040 hours using the ship’s own lifeboats and two shore tenders, Viking Queen and Spirit of Newport. The disembarkation of all passengers was complete by 0220 hours on 9 August.

Passengers were then taken by train and bus to their intended destination, New York.

In the event only 30 gallons of fuel leaked from QE2 so the oil protection boom was removed.

QE2 then proceeded, accompanied by a Coast Guard cutter and two tugs, to Boston at around eight knots. She arrived there after a nine and a half hour journey to be dry docked for survey and, as they turned out to be, temporary repairs. QE2 was drydocked at the General Ship Corporation and the previously surveyed damage to her hull was confirmed once the dock was pumped dry.

It was only after QE2 had been placed in the dry dock that the true extent of the damage to the underwater hull became known. In all the damage covered a width of 80 feet over the keel and either side of it and extended over a length of 400 feet aft from the bulbous bow. The keel was covered in indents – some up to 240 feet in length and 14 inches deep – gouges and fractures, some of the latter being from 10 to 70 feet long and a 32 foot length and plates were buckled in place. In total 20 double-bottom tanks had sustained damaged to some extent and the port bilge keel had been severely damaged.

It soon became clear that full repairs would not be able to be carried out in Boston as the yard did not have the staff, the resources or the correct grade of steel to complete the job. After initial repairs QE2 would have to proceed elsewhere for final repairs. The Hamburg shipyard of Blohm & Voss was successful in their bid and QE2 left Boston on 1 September and headed for Germany. On arrival in Hamburg the liner was lifted in a floating dock and full repairs were undertaken.

Investigations into the cause of the grounding were undertaken by both the National Transportation Safety Board (USA) and the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB). The actual grounding site on Sow and Pig Reef was located and surveyed. Both investigations came to similar conclusions. There could be no doubt that the cause of the grounding was that the charts for the area were wrong and there was significantly less water than charted. In fact it was discovered that the area was last surveyed on 1939 by dropping a line at regular intervals; this method, of course, can miss significant peaks! It was noted that prior to the grounding QE2 had passed over an area with a 40-foot sounding without mishap or any indication of shallow water effect. QE2 grounded twice in quick succession; at the time of the initial grounding the depth of water was 35.0 feet while the depth of water at the second grounding was 34.2 feet. It assumed that the stationary forward and after draughts of the vessel were 32.3 feet and 31.3 feet respectively. On the assumption that no change in draught was caused by the effect of the prevailing weather conditions, it was apparent that the effect of ‘squat’ on the vessel caused the bow to sink by at least 2.7 feet. ‘Squat’ is a phenomenon where ships travelling at speed in shallow water settle lower in the water than they would normally – but the degree to which they do so is not easy to calculate. The extent of the damage suggested that, on grounding, the vessel was trimmed by the head. The Master had expected squat of one 1 to 1½ feet, with change of trim by the stern. It was clear that Captain Woodall had underestimated the magnitude of ‘squat’ effect upon his vessel in the prevailing circumstances – a factor magnified with the increase of speed to 25 knots.

And what of the rocks? Divers found signs of contact with traces of QE2’s red anti-fouling paint and shavings of steel were found on several rocks which had either been moved boldly horizontally, compressed into the seafloor or partially pulled out of the seabed by almost a foot. It was generally agreed that if a lesser vessel had sustained the damage QE2 had then it would probably have been lost.

In all nine Atlantic crossings and two cruises were cancelled while QE2 was undergoing repairs. There was intense speculation in the press that the repairs, lost revenue and compensation payments would cost Cunard up to £50 million but the company never revealed the actual cost. QE2’s return to Southampton on 3 October was a jubilant occasion with three fireboats escorting her up the Solent and the vessel returned to service the next day.

read more discussion on 1992 Martha's Vineyard Grounding topic
« Last Edit: Dec 31, 2017, 11:11 AM by Lynda Bradford »

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #16 on: Nov 14, 2017, 07:10 AM »
Collision with Ferry - 1994

QE2 arrived at Circular Quay in Sydney at 1700 hours on 6 February 1994 and engines were finished at 1718 hours with all tugs departing at 1733. At approximately 1745 hours the Sydney ferry Narrabeen made contact with the port side of QE2 while attempting to manoeuvre out from the ferry wharf at Circular Quay. No one on QE2 was aware of the incident and the ferry did not report it. At 1825 hours Sydney Police advised QE2.

QE2 had been damaged in frame no. minus 7 in the vicinity of crew cabin 55. The cabin was empty at the time. An indentation was sustained to QE2’s hull breaking the porthole in cabin 551, and bending the internal framework in the way of the porthole.

Temporary repairs were made with full repairs being completed in the December refit.

The bow of the Narrabeen was damaged.

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #17 on: Nov 14, 2017, 07:11 AM »
Collision with Tug - 1996

The hull in the hospital area was repaired after suffering damage by tug contact in Trondheim on 22 July 1996.

The hull in the hospital area was repaired during QE2’s 1996 refit in Southampton.


Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #18 on: Nov 14, 2017, 07:11 AM »
Quay Contact - 1996

While QE2 was being pulled out of harbour in Copenhagen on 5 August 1996, strong winds pushed the ship on to the quay when the two tugs were unable to hold her. The lines from the tugs snapped damaging the steering flat. A 50-metre scrape was another result of the damage.

The steering flat was repaired during QE2’s 1996 refit in Southampton.

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Hull Patches - what was each one from?
« Reply #19 on: Nov 14, 2017, 07:12 AM »
Collision with Whale - 1996

On 15 September 1996 QE2 hit a 60-foot whale which then became lodged on the bulbous bow as the ship entered Lisbon. As the whale was pinned by the tide the rescue workers had to wait for the direction of the current to change before they could tow it away. A crane was then used to remove the whale from the water by which time it was dead.

see discussions in the topic "A whale of a drama"
« Last Edit: Jan 03, 2018, 12:15 PM by Lynda Bradford »

 

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