Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The U.S. Coast Guard today was investigating a volunteer workers fatal fall off the Star of India docked into San Diego's bay.
Gregory Vance Gushaw, 68, of Coronado was conducting an annual test on the historic ship when he fell about 50 feet from its rigging around 10:15 a.m. Sunday, authorities said.
Witnesses saw the accident and rescued Gushaw from the bay but not before he hit his head on the iron-hulled ship.
He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the county coroner's office.
Coast Guard Lt. Bill Fitzgerald of the marine investigation unit told The San Diego Union-Tribune that Gushaw's safety harness wasn't hooked when the accident occurred, and it is not believed that the fall was the result of any sort of equipment failure.
Gushaw was training to be recertified in anticipation of a sail the ship is scheduled to take in November, the Union-Tribune reported.
Though training has been suspended, the ship - a popular tourist attraction - remains open to the public.