Woman dies in plunge from Queen Mary in California

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 06, 2011 2:58 PM

By Dan Whitcomb

LONG BEACH, Calif (Reuters) - A 26-year-old woman plunged to her death from the Queen Mary after trying to climb over a railing on a walkway leading to the vintage ocean liner, police said on Tuesday.

The woman was pulled from the water at about 8:30 p.m. on Monday night and taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead a short time later, Long Beach police spokeswoman Nancy Pratt said.

The cause of death had not yet been determined. A Los Angeles County Coroner's spokesman said an autopsy would likely be conducted on the woman's body later on Tuesday.

"She was seen climbing up and over the railing of a walkway prior to falling into the water," Pratt said, adding that the woman and her boyfriend, who were not immediately identified, had been leaving the ship after visiting a bar.

"We do believe she was intoxicated at the time," Pratt said, based on witness accounts of the incident.

Pratt said the woman's 40-year-old boyfriend and a ship employee jumped in to save her and that when police arrived all three people were still in the water.

"When our officers arrived we found all three of them in the water, and one of our officers immediately goes into the water to assist in getting the victim out," Pratt said.

She said the woman's boyfriend was suffering from the onset of hypothermia and a second officer jumped in to pull him out. The man was also transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Pratt said police were treating the incident as an accidental death, the first in recent memory at the Queen Mary, which has been moored in Long Beach as a tourist attraction since the 1960s.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)