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Say Goodbye To The Queen Mary's 20 Lifeboats — Toxic Lead Paint Doomed Efforts To Auction Them Off

The Queen Mary docked behind a gray submarine.
The Queen Mary is docked next to the Soviet submarine B-427, which has been closed to visitors since 2015.
(Patrick T. Fallon
AFP via Getty Images)
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Long Beach is set to dispose of 20 lifeboats covered in toxic lead paint that originally hung from the Queen Mary.

The corroded crafts were put up for auction under the condition that the winning bidders provide transportation for them.

QMI Restore The Queen, an organization dedicated to preserving the British ocean liner, bid on the boats. But the group couldn't find a trucking company that could properly transport the crafts, which are considered hazardous, according to Executive Director Mary Rohrer.

"Just to haul one of the lifeboats away, you have to have a hazmat certification as a trucking company," she said.

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One of the three distinctive red and black smokestacks of the Queen Mary is visible in a shot of the bow of the ship.
The life boats are visible hanging from the top deck of the ship in this 2017 photo.
( Bradley Pisney on Unsplash)

Rohrer said QMI Restore the Queen asked the city for more time to find a way to move the lifeboats. But in a statement, Long Beach officials said the city considers the matter closed.

Long Beach will move forward with the "safe disassembly of the remaining lifeboats, per applicable health, safety and environmental regulations, and will work to identify potential creative solutions to repurpose elements of the lifeboats," the statement said.

Rohrer expressed disappointment with the city's decision.

"It's the last remaining ship of our greatest generation," she said. "That ship holds the world's record ... for transporting the most humans in history. And those lifeboats are part of that history."

You can read more on the troubled history of the Queen Mary in the Long Beach Post's investigation — called "Shipwrecked."

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