Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Farewell Queen Elizabeth 2

The QE2 was determined not to leave service quietly.  Coming in to her homeport of Southampton for the last time this morning, she hit a sandbank and grounded.  According to the BBC, witnesses speculated that the high winds, which caused the cancellation of her last port of call in Guernsey yesterday, were to blame for the grounding.  The winds, gusting up to 70 mph in some places along the South Coast, have been responsible for flooding and disruption, with Dover ferry services interrupted and the container port at Thamesport, Isle of Grain, closed. 

On the BBC website, Eric Flounders, Cunard spokesman said, 

"She touched a sandbank called Brambles but with the tide rising she was able to get away.  We are not aware at this stage of any damage to the vessel and everything is proceeding today as planned.  We don't know exactly what happened for the vessel to get stuck."

Commodore Warner, Commodore of the Cunard Fleet,when I interviewed him for Hampshire Life magazine (to be published January 2009) commented that the QE2, 'is ending up in Dubai on November 27th.  She is becoming a hotel and conference centre in the Palms.  I think the great thing about it is that nobody wants to see the ship leave the fleet.  She is an old favourite.  There is plenty of money to make sure she is very well looked after.  I am sure she will be spending another forty years down there."

The 70,000 tonnes QE2 came into service in 1967 and since that time she has been in to her home port 700 times, crossed the Atlantic 800 times and has carried more than 2.5 million passengers.

Southampton will be saying farewell to this grand old lady with a series of events throughout Tuesday, which I will endeavour to bring to readers later today.

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