Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Death of John Pedder

It was July 10, 1966 when Fireman/Cleaner John Pedder, aged 18, was found crushed inside Watertight Door 13 aboard the RMS Queen Mary. According to the ship's log, he joined the crew on March 30 of that year and was engaged in bilge pumping duties at the time of the accident.

Pedder was caught in the door at around 3:55 am and found by a refrigeration greaser named Cripps shortly thereafter. There were no witnesses to the accident, but the officers on duty were immediately notified by the undoubtedly startled crew member. The only sign of trauma was a bit of blood trickling down the nose, as well as the fact he was turning blue due to lack of oxygen.

The young man was removed from the door and placed on the deck by the time the night sister arrived on the scene. She was unable to determine whether or not he was alive, so he was administered morphine and was pronounced dead upon his arrival to the ship's hospital.

His ghost has been reported in the starboard side of Shaft Alley since that tragic day. Guests to the Queen Mary have reported seeing a young, bearded man wearing a white boiler suit in this area - sometimes looking for a wrench (likely the one he had used to manually open Watertight Door 13 when he was killed). Tour guides have also reported weird activity in the area, ranging from shadows to knocking sounds.

Does the spirit of John Pedder still haunt the Queen Mary? We may never know for sure - but his death was certainly one of the most tragic events to have taken place aboard the grand old ship.

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