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Officers and Crew of the Cunard Line


berry22192

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Am I the only person who has wondered how the ship's officers and crew of liners and cruise ships acquire their rank? Is the rank of "Commodore", for instance, bestowed on Commodore Warwick by Cunard or by the British Merchant Navy? In that regard, could someone explain what role, if any, the 'Merchant Navy' has in the cruise line industry. As I once heard, the U.S. doesn't have a Merchant Navy although the US has a Merchant Naval Academy. Thanks in advance for shedding light.

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Am I the only person who has wondered how the ship's officers and crew of liners and cruise ships acquire their rank? Is the rank of "Commodore", for instance, bestowed on Commodore Warwick by Cunard or by the British Merchant Navy? In that regard, could someone explain what role, if any, the 'Merchant Navy' has in the cruise line industry. As I once heard, the U.S. doesn't have a Merchant Navy although the US has a Merchant Naval Academy. Thanks in advance for shedding light.

 

Cunard appointed Ron Warwick as 'Commodore' - its a title usually reserved for the senior Captain of the fleet. In Royal Naval terms it ranks below 'Rear Admiral', 'Vice Admiral' and 'Admiral'. The British Army equivalent is 'Brigadier'.

 

Ships registered in Britain fly the 'Red Ensign' - and can be requisitioned by HMG in time of war, as happened to the QE2, Canberra and Uganda during the Falklands War.

 

Peter

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I will attempt to answer from the American perspective, and applying it to British custom where I have some knowlege. Please keep in mind that the maritime industry has a lengthy heritage, and the precise origin of its traditions, customs, and nomenclature can be difficult to pin down precisely. Thus disclaimed, here is my best shot:

  1. Those who go to sea in a military capacity are members of the US Navy (UK: Royal Navy); those who go to sea in a civilian capacity are members of the Merchant Marine (UK: Merchant Navy). This may be aboard a cruise ship, cargo ship, or some other type of vessel.
  2. This distinction has not always been so clear; the histories of the two are substantially intertwined. The modern U.S. Navy is descended from the Merchant Marine, and for many years officers and seamen moved freely between the two services. More recently, during World War II, the Merchant Marine was placed under the control of the Secretary of the Navy.
  3. Currently, the modern Merchant Marine/Navy is not a military service, per se, as it has no permanent, comprehensive command and control structure, and does not report to the President (or Queen, I presume), except in wartime.
  4. There's no accurate term to describe exactly what the Merchant Marine/Navy is: perhaps it is best to consider it something that is equal parts an industry, a profession, and a quasi-military service.
  5. The U.S. has both a Naval Academy (Annapolis) and a Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point)--of which I am a proud graduate.

Ranks in the Merchant Marine/Navy work this way:

  1. Only two departments of a ship--deck and engine--are traditionally considered to utilize Merchant Marine officers. Deck officers are called "mates" or "officers" and engine officers are called "engineers."
  2. In general, junior officers work their way up from 3rd to 2nd to 1st mate (or officer) or engineer. The most senior rank in the deck department is Captain; the engine equivalent is Chief Engineer. Cruise ships may have an expanded officer complement--4th officers, Staff Captains, etc.
  3. Each officer rank is licensed by the flag state, and raising one's license requires both sea time and completion of a comprehensive series of tests. While this license determines the highest capacity at which an officer may serve, his or her actual shipboard rank could be lower; it is up to the shipowner.
  4. "Captain" is the highest rank in the Merchant Marine (even though Chief Engineer is considered an equivalent rank, the Captain is always the superior officer, for reasons relating to tradition and practicality). "Commodore" is a honorary title bestowed by the shipowner employer.

I hope that this is at least informative, if not entertaining.

 

Brad

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While this license determines the highest capacity at which an officer may serve, his or her actual shipboard rank could be lower;

Brad, perhaps you could confirm or refute, what I was once told: that an officer must hold the qualification for the rank above that at which he/she is currently serving. Or is it just to do with the practicalities of gaining the qualification, then waiting for a post to become vacant?

 

I was once told, by the captain, that QE2 regularly sails with NINE qualified masters, although obviously only one holds the rank of captain.

 

Imagine trying to work with eight others looking over your shoulder, all waiting for your job.

 

Regards, Colin.

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Thank you Peter and Brad, I'm sure I won't be the only person who will find this information illuminating.

 

I did notice that on the bridge of the QM2 last August there was one ship's officer who displayed a small Stars and Stripes flag by his duty position--which led me to believe that the QM2 has both U.K. and U.S. officers on board.

 

Presumably the QE2 and QM2 (because they fly the Red Ensign) could still be requistioned by the British government even though the ships are (now) owned by Carnival of Miami.

 

By electing to have the QM2 registered in GB I expect that Carnival had to put up with a lot more "oversight" [some might say 'headaches'] than if, say, they had registered her in Panama or even Bermuda. I'm just wondering what effect a ship's registery has on attracting or repelling passengers. Or perhaps the main effect, possibly, on where a ship is registered may be on the insurance premium.

 

Chris in Woodbridge

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the QM2 has both U.K. and U.S. officers on board.

She has one US officer. He was appointed Third Officer while she was still being built and is now Second Officer.

 

He is a graduate of the USMMA and served in INDEPENDENCE and PATRIOT before American Classic Voyages went under.

 

I believe he is the second American officer in Company history... Or at least, the second American deck officer. (The first, as I recall, left the Company decades ago.)

 

the ships are (now) owned by Carnival of Miami.

Actually they are owned by Carnival plc, incorporated in England and Wales. This is the British half of Carnival Corporation & plc, formerly P&O Princess Cruises plc. The "American" half is Carnival Corporation, incorporated in Panama.

 

I'm just wondering what effect a ship's registery has on attracting or repelling passengers.

In most cases, I don't think it has much. Most passengers never take notice of where their ship is flagged, or care much about it.

 

With Cunard it may be a bit different because of their strong "British" identity but then for many years QE2 was the only Cunarder registered in the UK, the others (like SAGAFJORD/VISTAFJORD, COUNTESS/PRINCESS, the various CROWN ships) being flagged in Panama or the Bahamas. For a while SEA GODDESS I and II were registered in the Isle of Man (which is also a British Register but separate from the UK Register).

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Brad, perhaps you could confirm or refute, what I was once told: that an officer must hold the qualification for the rank above that at which he/she is currently serving. Or is it just to do with the practicalities of gaining the qualification, then waiting for a post to become vacant?

 

I was once told, by the captain, that QE2 regularly sails with NINE qualified masters, although obviously only one holds the rank of captain.

 

Imagine trying to work with eight others looking over your shoulder, all waiting for your job.

 

Regards, Colin.

 

Hmm, Probably wouldn't want to get too close to the rails in high seas! <EG>

Karie

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I was once told, by the captain, that QE2 regularly sails with NINE qualified masters, although obviously only one holds the rank of captain.

 

Imagine trying to work with eight others looking over your shoulder, all waiting for your job.

 

Regards, Colin.

 

 

 

To be complete accurrate, there is no such rank as 'Captain' in the British Merchant Navy . The official title is 'Master'. The title Captain is used but it is not being strictly correct.

 

Also... there is only one 'Officer' on board and that is the 'Radio Officer'. Everyone else signs on as Master, Mate or Engineer.

 

Stephen

 

And I think you would be hard pressed to even find a Radio Officer these days!

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Hmm, Probably wouldn't want to get too close to the rails in high seas! <EG>

Karie

 

Well, the master of a Cunard liner (I am not going to say who on which ship...) ones asked a group of passengers to do him a favour when sailing on the QM2: If you are passing the Commodore standing close to a staircase, you might (a telling gesture followed) .... open a position for me.

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Presumably the QE2 and QM2 (because they fly the Red Ensign) could still be requistioned by the British government even though the ships are (now) owned by Carnival of Miami.

 

This what happened in 1982 during the Falkands war - QE2, Canberra, Norland (a ferry) and Atlantic Conveyor became 'STUFT' - 'Ships Taken Up From Trade'.

 

Atlantic Conveyor was lost in the south Atlantic, all the others survived, and received a refurbishment/refit at Her Majesty's expense!

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This what happened in 1982 during the Falkands war - QE2, Canberra, Norland (a ferry) and Atlantic Conveyor became 'STUFT' - 'Ships Taken Up From Trade'.

 

Atlantic Conveyor was lost in the south Atlantic, all the others survived, and received a refurbishment/refit at Her Majesty's expense!

 

 

 

Tom,

 

This is true and I recall that a couple of years ago Mr Arison indicated publically that the ships of the combined Carnival fleet would be made available if required, regardless of their flag.

 

Stephen

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Tom,

 

This is true and I recall that a couple of years ago Mr Arison indicated publically that the ships of the combined Carnival fleet would be made available if required, regardless of their flag.

 

Stephen

 

Did Mr Arison indicate to which country the ships of Carnival Corporation (of which there are 70-odd) would be made available? After all, in eight years we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1814 (and the more nostalgic amongst us just may be itching for a rematch).

 

Chris in Woodbridge

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Did Mr Arison indicate to which country the ships of Carnival Corporation (of which there are 70-odd) would be made available? After all, in eight years we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1814 (and the more nostalgic amongst us just may be itching for a rematch).

 

Chris in Woodbridge

 

 

 

 

Don't mention the War!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!;)

 

Well, we can assume that all of the Liberian and Panamanian ships in the fleet would be available to the USA and the rest would be available to the EEC, UK and the Colonies. Right now I think Bermuda probably has the greatest tonnage... not counting the Liberian and Panamanian ships.

 

Stephen

 

(Not certain which CCL ships are Panamanian these days.)

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Did Mr Arison indicate to which country the ships of Carnival Corporation (of which there are 70-odd) would be made available? After all, in eight years we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1814 (and the more nostalgic amongst us just may be itching for a rematch).

 

Chris in Woodbridge

 

Are you planning to retake New Orleans?

We were planning on selling it back to the French, perhaps, see if they would do the refurb for us! After all, they (and the Spanish) did a lovely job on the original!

 

Karie,

Who hopes the folks rebuilding in New Orleans don't forget the heritage and architecture that made her the belle that she was. Don't give us Levittown with ticky-tacky cookie cutter houses!

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Brad, perhaps you could confirm or refute, what I was once told: that an officer must hold the qualification for the rank above that at which he/she is currently serving. Or is it just to do with the practicalities of gaining the qualification, then waiting for a post to become vacant?

 

 

Regards, Colin.

 

 

Colin,

 

Once an officer holds a Certificate of Competency for a particular rank then he/she can sail in that rank.

 

Traditionally passenger ships carry officers more qualified than they need by for the rank they are employed in.

 

During the Great Depression there were people with Master's sailing as Able Seaman. I did read somewhere that it was not uncommon for a ship with an entire deck department to be manned by people with their Master's Certificate.

 

On the other hand, when staff are in short supply, promotion can by much faster. I went to sea in 1970 and as I gained each certificte I immediately stepped one up in rank. The ink was hardly dry on my certificate before I was sent out to join a ship as master at the grand old age of 29! Out of a crew of 80 there were two on board younger than me... the two Pantry Boys!

 

The important factor is pay. You get paid for the rank you sail in, not the certificate you hold. Little point in sailing Junior Fifth Officer on the RMS XXX for ten pounds a month when you can sail as Mate in a cargo ship or tanker for sixty or seventy pounds a month.

 

Stephen

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When I worked on Cunard Countess (17,000 tons), there were five officers holding a "master's ticket", so nine on QM2 sounds about right.

 

"Commodore" is an old title which was not used in my time in the eighties, when Cunard had seven or eight ships in their fleet. It was specially resurrected for Ron Warwick when he came out of retirement to launch QM2. The Cunard fleet then numbered three vessels.

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She has one US officer. He was appointed Third Officer while she was still being built and is now Second Officer."

 

And is one heck of a sweet guy :)

 

What gets me is that their chief engineer is Scottish :) That gets an old Star Trek fan right here ::tapping heart::

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He is also one great guy, but I remember quite a few Scottish Engineers on Cunard!

 

Karen

 

 

When I was at sea I worked for a Scottish shipping company.... Denholms....ne of the largest fleets in the world... then around 80 ships from 5,000 tons up to 500,000 tons. The officers were mixed bag of English, Scots, Irish and Welsh.

 

When asked by passing ships, "What sort of crew do you have aboard?" Some ships hips might answer, " British officers and Chinese crew. or British officers and Indian crew." etc etc/

 

On some of our ships we would say, "White officers and Scottish engineers!"

 

Stephen

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And is one heck of a sweet guy :)

 

What gets me is that their chief engineer is Scottish :) That gets an old Star Trek fan right here ::tapping heart::

 

Ya Kanna change the laws of physics!

I'm trying to remember if our engineer on the countess through the canal was Scottish. Neat sitting at his tables as we got to learn all of the good stuff going on- like wehn we lost a turbocharger or something like that midway through the canal. Thy flew in a new one.

 

Karie,

Who DOES know what they wear under their kilts!

(I dunno know where ya been laddie, but I can see ya won first prize! <G>)

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Don't mention the War!

You sound like Basil Fawlty ;) !

 

In the eventuality that the US and UK were on different sides of a war I'd say that the sky would probably be falling anyway so we would have bigger worries than who would get some cruise ships!

 

we can assume that all of the Liberian and Panamanian ships in the fleet would be available to the USA and the rest would be available to the EEC, UK and the Colonies.

There aren't any more Liberian Carnival ships. They (along with RCCL and P&O Princess) left the Liberian register in the early part of the decade.

 

But yes, I imagine the Bahamian and Panamanian ships would go to the US while the rest would go to their countries of registry.

 

I think Bermuda probably has the greatest tonnage... not counting the Liberian and Panamanian ships.

You can count anything you want - Bermuda still has the greatest tonnage!

 

I had nothing better to do at midnight so I tallied all the tonnages of the different flags within Carnival. The results are actually rather surprising:

 

Bermuda

---------

82,972 ARCADIA

44,588 ARTEMIS

112,894 CARIBBEAN PRINCESS

91,627 CORAL PRINCESS

77,441 DAWN PRINCESS

115,875 DIAMOND PRINCESS

108,865 GOLDEN PRINCESS

108,806 GRAND PRINCESS

91,627 ISLAND PRINCESS

77,499 OCEANA

70,285 REGAL PRINCESS

115,875 SAPPHIRE PRINCESS

77,499 SEA PRINCESS

108,977 STAR PRINCESS

77,441 SUN PRINCESS

---------

1,362,271 GT

 

Panama

---------

110,239 CARNIVAL CONQUEST

110,239 CARNIVAL GLORY

85,942 CARNIVAL LEGEND

110,320 CARNIVAL LIBERTY

85,942 CARNIVAL MIRACLE

85,920 CARNIVAL PRIDE

85,920 CARNIVAL SPIRIT

110,239 CARNIvAL VALOR

101,509 CARNIVAL VICTORY

47,262 CELEBRATION

70,367 ECSTASY

70,390 ELATION

70,367 FANTASY

70,390 PARADISE

---------

1,214,046 GT

 

Italy

-------

42,289 AIDAAURA

70,310 AIDABLU

38,557 AIDACARA

42,289 AIDAVITA

28,430 COSTA ALLEGRA

85,619 COSTA ATLANTICA

52,926 COSTA CLASSICA

54,763 COSTA EUROPA

102,587 COSTA FORTUNA

102,600 COSTA MAGICA

25,558 COSTA MARINA

85,619 COSTA MEDITERRANEA

53,049 COSTA ROMANTICA

75,166 COSTA VICTORIA

-------

859,762 GT

 

Netherlands

-------

61,484 AMSTERDAM

55,451 MAASDAM

82,318 NOORDAM

81,769 OOSTERDAM

37,983 PRINSENDAM

59,652 ROTTERDAM

55,819 RYNDAM

55,810 STATENDAM

55,451 VEENDAM

60,906 VOLENDAM

81,811 WESTERDAM

61,396 ZAANDAM

81,769 ZUIDERDAM

-------

831,619 GT

 

Bahamas

-------

101,353 CARNIVAL DESTINY

101,509 CARNIVAL TRIUMPH

70,367 FASCINATION

46,052 HOLIDAY

70,367 IMAGINATION

70,367 INSPIRATION

47,262 PACIFIC SUN

9,961 SEABOURN LEGEND

9,975 SEABOURN PRIDE

9,975 SEABOURN SPIRIT

70,367 SENSATION

5,376 WIND SPIRIT

5,307 WIND STAR

14,745 WIND SURF

-------

632,983 GT

 

United Kingdom

-------

76,152 AURORA

63,524 OCEAN VILLAGE

69,153 ORIANA

46,087 PACIFIC SKY

35,144 PACIFIC STAR

70,327 QUEEN ELIZABETH 2

148,528 QUEEN MARY 2

-------

508,915 GT

 

Gibraltar

------

30,277 PACIFIC PRINCESS

30,277 ISLAND PRINCESS

------

60,554 GT

 

Marshall Islands

------

30,277 MINERVA II

------

30,277 GT

 

Is MINERVA II chartered from Cruiseinvest or did Carnival buy her? (Apparently they bought the two Princess ships, but kept their Gibraltar registry from Cruiseinvest. They were the only two R ships not registered first in Liberia and later in the Marshall Islands. I believe for Renaissance to receive certain French subsidies for these two ships which operated in Tahiti, they had to be registered in the EU.)

 

"Commodore" is an old title which was not used in my time in the eighties, ... It was specially resurrected for Ron Warwick when he came out of retirement to launch QM2.

According to Commodore Warwick's QE2 book, John Burton-Hall, who first was made master of QE2 in 1990, also had the title of Commodore.

 

It doesn't say when he was given this title but I imagine it must have been sometime between 1990 and his retirement (whenever that was - late 1990s)?

 

The last Commodore before that seems to have been Douglas Ridley who first commanded QE2 in 1978. I'm not sure when he retired.

 

As I understand it, whoever replaces Commodore Warwick as QM2's regular master (Bernie Warner and Ian MacNaught have been mentioned) will also be made a Commodore, this time of the entire P&O Princess fleet. P&O kept up the tradition of having a Commodore virtually all the time; I had the pleasure of sailing with Commodore Mike Moulin in 2000 and I believe there was another P&O Commodore after that.

 

And is one heck of a sweet guy

Yes, he's a really nice guy. (I don't know if I'd say "sweet" being a male in his own age group ;) .) I've known him through the web since well before his QM2 days, though I only actually met him for the first time this past July. He seems to be everyone's favorite QM2 officer, or at least all the Americans anyway ;) !

 

His mother was with us on the QE2 Winter Crossing this year and is also a wonderful person.

 

What gets me is that their chief engineer is Scottish

That should be no surprise - the Scots are after all known for being engineers!

 

In fact there is probably no other nationality that can be associated with steamships so much as the Scots. The Clyde (where of course all the QUEENs were built except QM2) was, for many decades, the absolute centre of the world as far as shipbuilding is concerned. Before countries like Italy were able to build steamships of their own, they ordered them from Scotland!

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But yes, I imagine the Bahamian and Panamanian ships would go to the US while the rest would go to their countries of registry.

 

And why would they do that......lets see:

 

Head of State:

 

Queen Elizabeth II:

 

Bermuda

---------

82,972 ARCADIA

44,588 ARTEMIS

112,894 CARIBBEAN PRINCESS

91,627 CORAL PRINCESS

77,441 DAWN PRINCESS

115,875 DIAMOND PRINCESS

108,865 GOLDEN PRINCESS

108,806 GRAND PRINCESS

91,627 ISLAND PRINCESS

77,499 OCEANA

70,285 REGAL PRINCESS

115,875 SAPPHIRE PRINCESS

77,499 SEA PRINCESS

108,977 STAR PRINCESS

77,441 SUN PRINCESS

---------

1,362,271 GT

 

Bahamas

-------

101,353 CARNIVAL DESTINY

101,509 CARNIVAL TRIUMPH

70,367 FASCINATION

46,052 HOLIDAY

70,367 IMAGINATION

70,367 INSPIRATION

47,262 PACIFIC SUN

9,961 SEABOURN LEGEND

9,975 SEABOURN PRIDE

9,975 SEABOURN SPIRIT

70,367 SENSATION

5,376 WIND SPIRIT

5,307 WIND STAR

14,745 WIND SURF

-------

632,983 GT

 

United Kingdom

-------

76,152 AURORA

63,524 OCEAN VILLAGE

69,153 ORIANA

46,087 PACIFIC SKY

35,144 PACIFIC STAR

70,327 QUEEN ELIZABETH 2

148,528 QUEEN MARY 2

-------

508,915 GT

 

Gibraltar

------

30,277 PACIFIC PRINCESS

30,277 ISLAND PRINCESS

------

60,554 GT

 

 

George W Bush:

 

em, er.........;)

 

Peter

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You sound like Basil Fawlty ;) !

 

 

Doug,

'Twas intentional!

 

 

You can count anything you want - Bermuda still has the greatest tonnage!

 

 

Very interesting figures. My nephew Taran is currently training in Huyandi Shipyards with Lloyds as a Marine Surveyor... on secondment from the Bermuda Registry of Shipping. All things going well, he might end up as Principal Surveyor one day!

 

According to Commodore Warwick's QE2 book, John Burton-Hall, who first was made master of QE2 in 1990, also had the title of Commodore.

 

It doesn't say when he was given this title but I imagine it must have been sometime between 1990 and his retirement (whenever that was - late 1990s)?

 

The last Commodore before that seems to have been Douglas Ridley who first commanded QE2 in 1978. I'm not sure when he retired.

 

The last Commodore in the Cunard fleet was Commodore Geoffrey Marr, Master of the old QUEEN ELIZABETH. After Marr retired the title was dropped. Ridley, John B-H were 'Senior Captain', but not Commodore.

 

As I understand it, whoever replaces Commodore Warwick as QM2's regular master (Bernie Warner and Ian MacNaught have been mentioned) will also be made a Commodore, this time of the entire P&O Princess fleet. P&O kept up the tradition of having a Commodore virtually all the time; I had the pleasure of sailing with Commodore Mike Moulin in 2000 and I believe there was another P&O Commodore after that.

 

I have heard just the opposite. Once Commodore Warwick retires so will the title 'Commodore of the Cunard Fleet'.

 

 

Stephen

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As of December 1989, Doug Ridley DID hold the rank of Commodore.

I believe his full title was/is Commodore T. Douglas. Ridley, R.D., R.N.R.

He was, I believe, the senior captain for a while during which the term "Commodore" was no longer in use. The term was subsequently revived, and he was granted it.

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As of December 1989, Doug Ridley DID hold the rank of Commodore.

I believe his full title was/is Commodore T. Douglas. Ridley, R.D., R.N.R.

He was, I believe, the senior captain for a while during which the term "Commodore" was no longer in use. The term was subsequently revived, and he was granted it.

 

 

 

 

Hmmm.. news to me. When did he retire? Alan Benell and Robin Woodall were the masters on QE2 from 1987.... for the next few years. I thought Ridley had retired by then.

 

Stephen

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