american Queen Elizabeth SS (1968~1970) Seawise University SS (ex-queen Elizabeth) [+1972]
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  Details  
 
general
nationality american
purpose transport
type passenger ship
propulsion steam turbine
date built 1938
status
unknown
details
weight (tons) 82998  grt
dimensions 314.2 x 36 x 11.9 m
engine Steam turbine (Single Reduction Gear)
power 160000  h.p.
speed 28.5  knots
yard no. 552
about the loss
cause lost fire
other reasons capsized
date lost 10/01/1972  [dd/mm/yyyy]
about people
builder
John Brown & Co. Ltd., Clydebank (Scotland)
next owners
[1]Seawise Foundations Ltd., Nassau
SS Seawise University (ex-queen Elizabeth) [+1972]
period 1970 ~ 1972
[2]Seawise Foundations Ltd., Nassau
SS Seawise University
period 1970 ~ 1972
last owner
[3]The Queen Corporation, Philadelphia
SS Queen Elizabeth
period 1968 ~ 1970
prev. owners
[4]Cunard Steamship Co. Ltd. - British & North American RMSP Co - Cunard White Star Line, Liverpool
SS Queen Elizabeth
period 1940 ~ 1970
[5]Cunard Steamship Co. Ltd. - British & North American RMSP Co - Cunard White Star Line, Liverpool
Queen Elizabeth
period 1940 ~ 1968
captain
about the wreck
depth (m.) 12 max. / 7.9 min. (m)
orientation 167°
position on seabed to starboard
protected
war grave
updates
entered by Lettens Jan
entered 28/08/2008
last update Pablobini
last update 24/11/2010
 
  Position  
 
Lettens Jan05/08/2010
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  copyright: Chipchase Nick copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu 
 
 
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  History  
 
Pablobini24/11/2010In 1968, Queen Elizabeth was sold to a group of Philadelphia businessmen from a company called The Queen Corporation (which was 85% owned by Cunard and 15% by them), at the same time the ships name was also altered as Cunard removed the word "Queen" from the bows and stern. The new company intended to operate the ship as a hotel and tourist attraction in Port Everglades , Florida , similar to the use of Queen Mary in Long Beach, California .

Losing money and forced to close after being declared a fire hazard, the ship was sold at auction in 1970 to Hong Kong tycoon C.Y. Tung . Tung, head of the Orient Overseas Line , intended to convert the vessel into a university for the World Campus Afloat program (later reformed and renamed as Semester at Sea ). Following the tradition of the O rient Overseas Line, the ship was renamed Seawise University , as a play on Tung's initials. Near the completion of the £5 million conversion, the vessel was destroyed by a massive fire on January 9, 1972. There is some suspicion that the fires were set deliberately, as several blazes broke out simultaneously throughout the ship. The fact that C.Y. Tung had acquired the vessel for $3.5 million,and had insured it for $8 million, led some to speculate that the inferno was part of a fraud to collect on the insurance claim....

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About Builders
 John Brown & Co. Ltd., Clydebank (Scotland)
One of the largest naval shipbuilders in the UK, John Brown produced both battleships and cruisers in quantity for the Royal Navy and approved foreign clients (Chile, Japan). Brown's was also noted for ocean liners of the largest size and speed, including the LUSITANIA, AQUITANIA, QUEEN MARY, and both QUEEN ELIZABETHs for the Cunard Line. The company had its own steelworks in Sheffield and shipyard in Clydebank, a city actually named for its shipyard, near Dalmuir on the Clyde. At peak workforce before WWI the works directly employed over 10,000 men. In the midst of this prewar arms race and prosperity in 1907, the company issued a commemorative volume on the completion of the LUSITANIA. Not content to tout the ship herself, the company produced an impressive brag piece for the yard -- our source for many of the photos here reproduced. Notable warships built at the yard included the Japanese battleship ASAHI, the British battleships HINDUSTAN, AFRICA, and VALIANT (QE class), and the battlecruisers TIGER, REPULSE, INDEFATIGABLE, and HOOD. In 1971 Browns was sold to Marathon Oil. The shipyard remained in service to the North Sea oil industry before being closed by a successor company; the site was demolished in 2002. It is now the site of Clydebank Community College; a few of the original buildings and the giant Titan crane remain in the midst of a bulldozed wasteland. The engineering arm of John Brown continues (after several bouts of acquisition) as John Brown Engineering Gas Turbines Ltd, E. Kilbride, UK.

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  History  
 
Pablobini24/11/2010In 1968, Queen Elizabeth was sold to a group of Philadelphia businessmen from a company called The Queen Corporation (which was 85% owned by Cunard and 15% by them), at the same time the ships name was also altered as Cunard removed the word "Queen" from the bows and stern. The new company intended to operate the ship as a hotel and tourist attraction in Port Everglades , Florida , similar to the use of Queen Mary in Long Beach, California .

Losing money and forced to close after being declared a fire hazard, the ship was sold at auction in 1970 to Hong Kong tycoon C.Y. Tung . Tung, head of the Orient Overseas Line , intended to convert the vessel into a university for the World Campus Afloat program (later reformed and renamed as Semester at Sea ). Following the tradition of the O rient Overseas Line, the ship was renamed Seawise University , as a play on Tung's initials. Near the completion of the £5 million conversion, the vessel was destroyed by a massive fire on January 9, 1972. There is some suspicion that the fires were set deliberately, as several blazes broke out simultaneously throughout the ship. The fact that C.Y. Tung had acquired the vessel for $3.5 million,and had insured it for $8 million, led some to speculate that the inferno was part of a fraud to collect on the insurance claim.

Others speculated that the fires were the result of a conflict between Tung, a Chinese Nationalist , and Communist -dominated ship construction unions. The ship capsized in shallow water in Hong Kong Victoria Harbour on 9 January 1972. The wreckage was dismant led for scrap between 1974 and 1975, before the "floating university" project could be fully realized. Portions of the hull that were not salvaged were left at the bottom of the bay and later incorporated into landfill for the new Hong Kong International Airport . However, the keel and boilers remain at the bottom of the harbour still and the area is marked as "Foul" on local sea charts warning ships not to try to anchor there.

It is estimated that around 40–50% of the wreck is still on the seabed alongside the large Hong Kong container port. Parker pens produced a special edition of 5,000 pens made from material recovered from the wreck in a presentation box and these are highly collectable.
 
 
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