Queen Mary’s lifeboat


This dilapidated lifeboat on the Queen Mary reminded me of the tragic shortage of lifeboats on the Titanic that led to the loss of 1517 lives. In that disaster there were as many lives lost in the third class as in the first and second class put together. Wealth is an advantage when your ship is sinking as when you are getting bail in court. I wondered how soon those getting a place in a lifeboat would complain because, like this one, it wasn’t painted properly or comfortable enough.

The Titanic was launched with enormous hubris – ‘unsinkable’ they called it as it left for its maiden voyage. The Queen Mary was proud of herself, too, but in a more modest and less provocative way, During the war she served as a troop carrier. Eventually she ended in padded retirement as a hotel and tourist sight in California.

I also liked the conjunction in this photo of cloud and solid, of soaring skyscraper and a flaking life-saving boat. Reality combines both.