Woman dies after fall from former British cruise ship

6th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

A 26-year-old woman died after falling 75 feet from a former British cruise liner the "Queen Mary" into cold California waters where it is berthed, officials said Tuesday.

A 40-year-old man dove 15 feet into the water to try to save her after she fell overboard late Monday from the ship, which is now a hotel and restaurant moored in Long Beach harbor, south of Los Angeles.

The death is being investigated as an apparent accident, said firefighter Steve Yamamoto, adding the man who tried to save her -- described as her boyfriend by local media reports -- was treated in hospital for hypothermia.

Local reports said the woman had been drinking before losing her balance. Two Long Beach police officers also jumped into the water to try to save her, but they were not injured, said Yamamoto.

The "Queen Mary" was considered the "grandest ocean liner ever built" when launched in 1936, and spent three decades plying the Atlantic before being de-registered and berthed in Long Beach in 1967, the vessel's website says.

Transformed into a hotel, it now has 314 staterooms spanning three decks including nine full suites, as well as 80,000 square feet of event space and a tri-level, 45,000-square-foot Exhibit Hall.

© 2011 AFP

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