Yachtsman dies after yacht scaffolding fall

Fatal scaffolding and ladders around Gavin Rusbatch’s yacht
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You don't have to fall from the top of the mast to lose your life when working on your boat. A sailor from Lyttelton, just south of Christchurch in New Zealand has died from head injuries received when he fell from scaffolding while working on his yacht.

Police reported that the man, Gavin Rusbatch, fell only around 1.5 metres, and died later in Christchurch Hospital. The incident shocked the local yachting community.

One yachtie at the marina yesterday said Rusbatch was known for being safety conscious and it had made them more aware of the dangers of working on scaffolding.

Lyttelton Naval Point Yacht Club commodore Mark Quail said Mr Rusbatch, who at 1.9m tall was known as 'Big Gav', was 'one of the characters around the place' and 'one of those gentle giants.'

He could be seen at the marina working on the yacht nearly every day.

Police said they were waiting for the results of a post-mortem before determining the cause of Mr Rusbatch's death.

His death has been referred to the coroner.
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