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Report Urges Immediate Dry-Docking For Queen Mary

October 7, 1992

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) _ Rusted rivets on the Queen Mary indicate the ship should be put in dry dock immediately and repaired, a consultant’s report said.

The repairs needed to keep the tourist attraction safe and afloat could cost an additional $6.2 million, the report said. That nearly doubles the amount of immediate work recommended in a July report by the same marine engineer.

The new report dampened the city’s enthusiasm for taking over the luxury liner from the Board of Harbor Commissioners.

″The City Council believes it is prudent not to take possession of the ship until these inspections have been completed and a commitment to fund the necessary repairs has been obtained,″ Assistant City Manager John F. Shirey said Tuesday.

More than a dozen of the 10 million rivets on the Queen Mary’s hull show signs of salt, indicating that water is already leaking into the ship, said a report submitted to the city by marine engineer Robert G. Rados.

″Some of the rivets are hardly there,″ said Rados, a consultant to the Port of Long Beach. He re-inspected the ship last week.

″If a series of them were to pop loose, the (hull plating) could collapse ... and the ship would be flooded.″

City officials had been hoping to persuade the Harbor Department to pay for $6 million in immediate repairs recommended by Rados’ firm, Rados International Corp., in July. The new evaluation, which Rados submitted to the city Tuesday, brings the money needed for immediate repairs to $12.2 million.

The harbor commissioners wanted to sell the money-losing tourist attraction to a Hong Kong firm for $20 million. Last week, the board offered the liner to the city, and the transfer had been expected to be approved Monday with the concurrence of the City Council.

That could be in jeopardy if the harbor commissioners have to come up with the full $12.2 million before the City Council is willing to accept the ship.

Harbor Commissioner Joel Friedland said he would not vote to pay for the newly identified maintenance and repairs.

″That’s why I wanted to sell the ship to begin with,″ Friedland said. ″We had a solution for the ship and the City Council rejected it.″

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