Long Beach fails to keep Queen Mary lifeboats afloat

The town of Lengthy Seaside plans to get rid of 19 lifeboats from the Queen Mary after a bidding course of to determine preservationists and historic teams to revive them failed.

A structural research of the 86-year-old ocean liner decided that the lifeboats had been placing an excessive amount of pressure on the body of the ship, prompting the town to hunt bidders keen to avoid wasting the lifeboats from ending up in landfills or scrap yards.

However the bidding course of, which ended April 28, concluded with solely two bidders, Lengthy Seaside officers mentioned. One bidder withdrew and the opposite didn’t submit the documentation required by the town, the officers mentioned.

“The town considers the matter closed and can transfer ahead with the protected disassembly of the remaining lifeboats, per relevant well being, security and environmental rules, and can work to determine potential inventive options to repurpose parts of the lifeboats,” Pleasure Contreras, a spokesperson for the Lengthy Seaside Public Works Division, mentioned in a press release Wednesday.

The hassle to avoid wasting the lifeboats is the most recent chapter within the Queen Mary’s 55-year historical past in Lengthy Seaside, the place the 1,019-foot-long ship has been docked, drawing 1.6 million guests a yr earlier than it closed in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The ship has additionally been the topic of quite a few disputes amongst metropolis officers and preservationists over the way to restore and restore it, and the way a lot to spend to avoid wasting a vessel seen as part of native historical past.

Within the bidding course of for the lifeboats, bidders weren’t required to place up any cash however needed to show to the town that they’d the funds and skill to move and restore the lifeboats.

Mary Rohrer, government director of QMI Restore the Queen, a nonprofit that’s devoted to elevating cash to revive the ship, mentioned her group withdrew from the bidding course of as a result of it was not keen to signal a legal responsibility waiver to wash and get rid of hazardous supplies on the lifeboats, together with lead paint.

“Lead paint is a large situation,” she mentioned.

The second bidder, Zack Armstrong of Shadow Hills, couldn’t be reached for remark.

The town required that the bidders considering preserving the remaining boats present they’ve the monetary means to move the boats from the ship, restore them and signal a waiver, releasing the town from legal responsibility for the lead-based paint on the boats.

One of many lifeboats is 30 toes lengthy; the remainder are 36 toes lengthy and weigh about 12,000 kilos.

Lengthy Seaside opened the bidding course of Feb. 17 and initially gave potential bidders till March 25 to submit provides. On the behest of Rohrer and others, the town agreed to increase the bidding course of till April 28 to extend the possibilities of figuring out bidders for all of the lifeboats.

Lengthy Seaside — which has owned the Queen Mary because it sailed into the harbor in 1967 — took management of the ship in June after the corporate that beforehand held the lease to function it, Eagle Hospitality Belief, filed for chapter safety in January and agreed to give up its lease settlement.

A number of concessionaires have operated and maintained the ship as a floating lodge and vacationer attraction during the last 5 a long time, with blended outcomes. A 2017 research mentioned as a lot as $289 million price of renovations and upgrades had been wanted to maintain elements of the ship from flooding. Since taking on the ship, the town has allotted $5.5 million to make the repairs wanted to reopen it to the general public.

A research discovered that the 22 lifeboats hanging from davits on the deck wanted to be eliminated. The town plans to maintain no less than two of the unique lifeboats on the ship and one to exhibit on the bottom close to the ship.

Rohrer mentioned her group has prompt that the town enable it to take away and promote the steel fittings and different traditionally vital gadgets from the lifeboats to boost cash for the preservation of the 2 lifeboats that will probably be spared.

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