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Woman dies in plunge from Queen Mary in California

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 there.

"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, where no details on his condition were immediately available.

Pratt said police were treating the incident as an accidental death, the first she could remember at the Queen Mary, which is permanently docked in Long Beach Harbor.

The luxury liner, which was built in the 1930s and saw duty as a troop transport during World War II, has been moored in Long Beach since 1967, where it serves as a hotel and tourist attraction.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Jerry Norton)

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