World's biggest ocean liner does not meet fire regulations

The Queen Mary 2, the world's biggest and most expensive cruise liner, does not meet fire regulation standards, it was revealed today.

The Queen Mary 2, the world's biggest and most expensive cruise liner, does not meet fire regulation standards, it was revealed today.

Cunard Line is now making alterations to bathrooms in all of the ship's 1,300 cabins and is increasing fire patrols on the 150,000-ton vessel, which is based in Southampton.

Cunard's parent company, the giant American Carnival Corporation, said the UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency had brought to Cunard's attention that panels in 900 of the bathrooms on the £500m ship "do not fully meet fire regulation standards".

Carnival said in a statement: "This is despite the materials used conforming to the relevant certification before the ship entered service in January 2004. During this time, there have been no problems with these materials."

The company said that the material under consideration was in a normally low-risk area of the cabin and that the cabins and adjacent corridors are equipped with smoke detectors and sprinklers.

Cunard will nevertheless be installing additional smoke detectors when the 2,600-passenger vessel reaches Southampton from New York tomorrow morning. It will also increase fire patrols.

The company said cabin sprinkler systems will also be extended into the bathrooms. The front panel of the bathroom vanity units will be replaced.

The company said its actions had been endorsed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which was "satisfied that passenger safety is not compromised".

"We expect to be able to finish this work ­ which will cost less than half a million dollars ­ by the time the ship leaves for New York tomorrow evening," Peter Ratcliffe, a spokesman for Carnival, said.

He added: "We are not embarrassed by this. A company's reputation is based on how it deals with problems that can arise. It's business as usual."

Built in St Nazaire, France, the 1,132ft-long ship was officially named by the Queen in a lavish ceremony at Southampton in January, before departing on its maiden passenger voyage to Ford Lauderdale, Florida.

A shadow had been cast over the launch of the vessel by a tragedy in St Nazaire in November last year. A walkway being used by shipyard families on a tour of the liner collapsed, killing 15 people.

At the beginning of May, the QM2 officially took over Cunard's transatlantic duties from the Queen Elizabeth 2 in another colourful ceremony attended by John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister.

The Maritime & Coastguard Agency said it was alerted to the need for the alterations to the QM2's bathrooms by the BBC. It confirmed that an investigation was under way to see how the material was introduced into the bathroom units "despite a rigorous quality assurance procedure during construction".

The agency added in a statement: "It has to be stressed that the material under consideration is in a normally low risk wet area of the cabin and that the vessel already has a highly efficient sprinkler system throughout its passenger accommodation. The MCA is satisfied that passenger safety is not compromised."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project