The Queen Mary: Sink or Swim


The Queen Mary from the Long Beach Harbor. Photo Courtesy: Advanced Photography Student

Shane Texeira, Staff Reporter

After carrying passengers from 1947 to her retirement in 1967, the Queen Mary was sold to Long Beach. Her last operators, Urban Commons Queensway, left her in turmoil after neglecting necessary repairs and being sued for fraud after stealing $2.4 million from a COVID-19 relief loan in November, 2021.

Now, the ship is in dire need of costly renovations that have left the City of Long Beach with multiple imperfect options. Ideally, the city would transfer the Queen Mary to the Port of Long Beach so they could pay for it. But, if they don’t want her either, the city could maintain it for the next 25 years for $150-$175 million or conserve it for the next 100 years for $200-$500 million. Ultimately, if these options are deemed too expensive, the city may have to sink the ship at a cost of $105-$190 million.

According to the Long Beach Post, political officials are heavily divided on the issue as some believe the Queen Mary is not worth spending money on due to its lack of revenue and high repair costs, while others have developed a strong sentimental connection to the ship and would hate to see it go. 

“I think we should invest and spend the money,” says QUEST senior Jazmin Fabia, “[otherwise] it’s like oh we can’t see the Queen Mary.”

Citizens can, “call or write the mayor and see if they can influence it,” says Dr. Rudman, Millikan teacher of AP Government, AP Macroeconomics, and AP Research, “start writing letters to the editor [and] to local publications, or even hold a rally to try and raise public awareness.” 

The Queen Mary from Shoreline Aquatic Park.
Photo Courtesy: Advanced Photography Student

This debate coincides directly with the upcoming mayoral election for Long Beach on November 8, 2022, with the new mayor, either Suzie Price or Rex Richardson, having a large influence on the decision.

All in all, the Queen Mary has been the core of Long Beach for the past 55 years and will undoubtedly strike intense grief or relief in the hearts of people in our community when a decision is made.