Maritime Journal Online writes of the QE2 entering port early Tuesday morning:
On its way into its home port at Southampton the ship ran hard aground on a sandbank at Calshot at the top of the Southampton Water approach. Most passengers were asleep at the time and no one was injured. Five tugs, one from Solent Tugs and four from Svitzer, which were all waiting for the QE2’s arrival at Southampton, came rushing to the rescue.
The QE2 was quickly freed by the tugs on the rising tide although, once started on its backwards path, it had a narrow miss with the Hill Head side of the approach. The liner made it safely into Southampton harbour just 25 minutes later than scheduled to be greeted by the Duke of Edinburgh, who led the farewell ceremonies. As divers checked the hull to see if any damage had been sustained, a Tiger Moth dropped a million poppies on the ship to mark the 90th anniversary of the World War 1 Armistice. Passengers who had paid up to £28,000 to be on QE2’s final voyage watched as a single RAF Harrier jet hovered over the vessel and dipped its nose in tribute. Two surveyors from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency fully inspected the ship and, together with the diver’s evidence, concluded it was not damaged and thus safe to undertake its final voyage.
So it’s official, the Queen Elizabeth 2 is on its final, one-way voyage to Dubai where she will be refurbished and used as a floating hotel and museum. She is due into The Worlds Islands on November 26, where she will be greated by a flotilla of yachts, boats and other pleasure.
Although none of us here at gCaptain have been lucky enough to set foot on the famous ocean liner, it is going to be sad to see her finally laid to rest. We have definitely put our time in following her in the news over the years and done our share of QE2, and the other Cunard Lines vessels, posts here on the blog.
Do any gCaptain readers out there have any experience on the QE2? Let us here your stories in the comments.