CLYDEBANK’S MP has written to US leaders calling for urgent efforts to save one of the town’s most famous liners.

As reported recently by the Post, the RMS Queen Mary, moored in Long Beach, California, is badly deteriorating.

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP has written to the US Deputy Head of Mission in the UK as there is no ambassador in post.

The liner, launched from John Brown’s in 1934, has been under the custodianship of the US since 1967 with 54 years as a tourist attraction.

On June 4, control of the entire site, including the Queen Mary, was returned to the City of Long Beach for the first time in 40 years.

Mr Docherty-Hughes told US officials: “It is alarming to see this world-renowned ocean liner neglected and allowed to become a shadow of its former glory.

“Hull number 534, as she was originally known, is more than just a ship. She is a global icon and a proud part of Clydebank’s and Scotland’s industrial and cultural heritage.

“My own grandfather was a riveter on the RMS Queen Mary, and my constituency office overlooks the former John Brown’s shipyard where she was constructed and launched in front of hundreds of thousands of people.

“It is therefore of grave concern to hear reports that due to her neglect by the leaseholders and authorities in Long Beach, the RMS Queen Mary is at serious risk of flooding or capsizing if urgent repairs are not carried out soon.

“To lose such an important part of our shared cultural heritage in this manner would be unthinkable, and an insult to the thousands of proud men and women who built her.

“Given the RMS Queen Mary is registered as a national monument of historical importance in the US, can you advise what the US Government is able to do to intervene to preserve and safeguard the future of this iconic ocean liner?”

Rust damage to parts of the liner

Rust damage to parts of the liner

A visual inspection report from April 2021 this year, seen by the Post, concluded $23 million in repairs were immediately needed to keep the liner viable just for the next two years.

Pictures of the liner even include duct tape patching it together. The Scorpion Soviet submarine that is berthed next to the Queen Mary in its Long Beach moat is so badly deteriorated it is feared it could sink and damage its neighbour.

Urgent repairs required include a new working bilge system and at least eight bulkheads needing replaced. The lifeboats should either be stored for restoration or disposed of.

That doesn’t even include safety issues if the attraction is to be reopened to the public, such as handrails to meet health and safety standards.

A consultant who tried to raise the alarm with Long Beach didn’t have his contract renewed, and the liner remains closed to the public. Much of the five lower decks and almost all of the sun deck were removed decades ago.

Campaigners say the city dumped the problem on different leaseholders and have been “bumbling on” ever since.

The firm responsible for caring for the Queen Mary recently filed for bankruptcy.

The Queens Salon, the first class main lounge in 1936

The Queens Salon, the first class main lounge in 1936