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Update: Woman Plunges To Her Death Off Queen Mary

Witnesses saw her arguing with a man on the top gangway before she said, "I don't want to live" and lost her footing, falling 75 feet.

 

8:10 p.m.-Update: The L.A. Coroner said it has just received the victim from the hospital, which reported the death as accidental. An investigator will be assigned in coming days and an autopsy performed to determine the cause of death.

1:00p.m.- Updates with Long Beach police department info, residency, other information.

A 26-year-old Long Beach woman plunged 75 feet to her death Monday night from a Queen Mary gangway, and witnesses told Patch that this followed an argument with a man who tried to hang on to her before she dropped into the cold water.

Nancy Pratt, spokeswoman for the Long Beach police department, said the woman was a Long Beach resident who had been drinking before she departed the ship via a gangway. Witnesses told police that she climbed the railing from which she fell. And Pratt and a Queen Mary spokeswoman said that a ship employee also had jumped in to save the woman.

The Los Angeles Coroner's Office said at 1 p.m. Tuesday that the woman's family has not been notified and her identity, thus, will not yet be released, and her cause of death not determined until a subsequent autopsy.

Long Beach Fire department spokesman Steve Yamamoto said four different people--a fireman, two police officers and her companion--jumped in to rescue her, most suffering hypothermia from the chilling sea water on the parking lot side of the ship. A fifth person, an employee of the hotel-dining visitor attraction, also tried to rescue her.

Earlier story: The woman, who was not identified, was rushed to a hospital but died there, the L.A. County Coroner's Office said early Tuesday. The woman's 40-year-old male companion made a 15-foot jump down into the water to reach her, Yamamoto said. The man was later fished out and hospitalized for hypothermia, his condition unknown by fire officials.

Two police officers also jumped in trying to rescue her and were treated for hypothermia at the ship. A fourth would-be rescuer--a Long Beach fireman who is also a swift water rescue team member and slid on a wetsuit--was able to get in and stay in longer. He attempted to keep the woman's airway clear until she could be removed from the water, Yamamoto said.

The incident was reported at 8:35 p.m. Yamamoto said, but it was not clear yet exactly how the woman, who was not identified, ended up in the water.

But two employees who witnessed the fight and the woman going overboard told Patch they saw what happened. They'd been ordered not to talk and wouldn't give their names, but provided eyewitness detail.

They said that the woman had been arguing, with a man they called her boyfriend, near the center of the top level gangway for nearly 10 minutes. One of the employees said that the argument was not decipherable, until the end.

It was at the end that one employee recounted what he saw and heard, she said, "I don't want to live, I don't want to be with you anymore, I don't want to go on." 

Then, the employee said, it all happened in slow motion. He said the woman made a "motion like she was going to go over the rail and slipped."

"The man tried to hang on to her, but she was heavy-set, and he couldn't hold her for very long. Then she just fell, it happened so fast. We ran towards them, and he ran down the steps to the bottom landing and jumped in."

One of the employees saw the entire, nearly 10 minute argument, while the second employee said he saw the final three or four minutes.

The employees said the ship had been "relatively quiet" that night, and therefore, no one really knew the situation unless they were near the elevator landing or near the gangway on the ship's deck.

"Sounds are very muffled on the ship, so no one knew what was happening" one employee said, "until the sirens and flashing lights started approaching."

For a look at historic Queen Mary tragedies click our story link here.

Jodi Biezenbos December 07, 2011 at 04:16 AM
You probably know what a jetway is for boarding an airplane from inside the airport right? Same kind of thing. You board the ship from inside a building. Some gangways are totally closed like plane jetways and others are open top with sides that are waist to chest high. If you look at the picture at the top you see 3 things going out to the side of the ship. THOSE are gangways.
Gabriel Ortiz December 07, 2011 at 04:24 AM
I take it by your sense of irony; including passionate, motivated, & profound characterization and a subtle use of authorial intrusion, that you must be another out of work Lit. Major. My regards.
AJBosox December 08, 2011 at 12:04 AM
The girl who fell was an old friend of mine, we went to high school together. Please be courteous that her friends and family might read your comments before you joke around about the story. She was a great person, never deserved this to happen to her...RIP Kelly...
Nancy Wride December 08, 2011 at 12:12 AM
AJ, would you like to tell me some positive good stuff about Kelly? I would like to know. Email me and we can exchange numbers. nancy.wride@patch.com. Thanks.
Nancy Wride December 08, 2011 at 12:15 AM
This is the updated story from today, with her high school photo and some details about her. As we added to this link, the railing was four feet high. It does not sound like she could accidentally fall over it though she may not have wanted to fall. http: //patch.com/A-prnH

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