02 January 2009

The Queen Runs Aground

On January, 2, 1949, the previous day having run aground in a gale near Cherbourg, France--her usual stop on the outward bound journey to New York--the Queen Mary was back in Southampton for inspection. Apparently, one of the Queen's anchors had gotten tangled up with "Pluto," the oil pipeline used by the allies on D-Day. Despite the fact the Cherbourg port was not only chiseled out of hard rock but littered with German u-boat wreckage, she went aground on a bed of soft sand and shell, showing the sort of luck she'd continue to have throughout her career. Captain Harry Grattidge had her back in the water at high tide. After divers in Southampton examined her hull, the damaged area was reinforced with concrete--a hundred tons!--but just as a precautionary measure. She was quickly on her way again. 

Sources:
British Movietone, "Queen Mary Grounds Near Cherbourg"
www.queenmary.com
The Sea My Surgery, Dr. Joseph B. Maguire

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