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Volunteer dies in fall from historic Star of India sailing ship in San Diego

July 18, 2010 |  5:40 pm

A 68-year-old volunteer working Sunday to prepare the museum ship Star of India to set sail died after falling 40 to 50 feet, the San Diego County medical examiner said.

Gregory Vance Gushaw, a Coronado resident and retired naval officer, fell from the yard of a mast, hit his head on the shrouds of the ship and plunged into the water, according to the medical examiner.

He was rescued from the water and revived briefly, but was declared dead on arrival at a local hospital.

The ship, built in 1863, is owned by the San Diego Maritime Museum and is considered the oldest ship still able to sail. A national historic landmark, the Star of India is sailed from San Diego Bay into the ocean at least once a year, after weeks of preparation by volunteers and craftsmen.

Gushaw was a member of the maritime museum's board of trustees.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Star of India on the waterfront in San Diego. Credit: www.pdphoto.org