SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A group constructing a $6.2 million replica of the San Salvador at Spanish Landing Park Wednesday installed the final wooden plank in the vessel's hull, which is considered a major milestone.
Now that the so-called "whiskey plank" has been put in, the hull can be treated, sealed and painted, and work can begin on the inner fixtures of the full-size replica galleon.
"It's an occasion for a party when you reach this point. It's kind of like launching or commissioning or laying a keel or the other waypoints of construction," said Ray Ashley, president of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
"Everyone's always looking for a reason to mark progress and to celebrate, and so putting the last plank in the bottom of the ship is one of those moments," he told CBS News 8.
More than 200 volunteers with the museum have worked on the replica 16th century, 92-foot-long galleon. The construction of the reproduction, which began three years ago, is giving the public a chance to see an example of historic shipbuilding -- the first modern industrial activity in the Americas.
The San Salvador was the flagship of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542 when he sailed into San Diego Bay. Cabrillo, who sailed from Portugal, was the first European to explore the bay -- he named the area San Miguel -- and the coast of California.
Construction of the replica, which is partly funded by a grant from the Coastal Conservancy Commission, is about 65 percent complete, according to the museum.
Once it's finished, the full-size galleon will be opened to museum visitors and host educational programs. Museum officials said it would also sail to ports throughout the state "as a travelling learning platform and symbol of our region's Pacific origins and maritime heritage."
A 27-year-old man suffered fatal injuries as the result of a "punching game'' inside of a bar Saturday morning in the Gaslamp
neighborhood of San Diego.
SANDAG began removing call boxes along urban highways throughout the San Diego region this month and will continue to do so through June, reflecting a decrease in call volume due to the increase in cell phone ownership.
Authorities today announced that police have arrested a suspect in connection with Friday's sexual assault on the campus of San Diego Mesa College. The name of the suspect was not immediately released.
Showers will be mostly light Saturday morning, decreasing into early Saturday afternoon. Another round of showers expected to push through late afternoon ending late Saturday night.
Police Chief David Nisleit Friday strongly disavowed what he described as an unofficial, "never authorized" departmental program that rewarded officers for making narcotics arrests.
On Friday, San Diego Police announced their search for a suspect involved in a robbery off the San Diego State University campus.
A court-appointed receiver has taken control of a Pacific Beach "hoarder house" that has accumulated trash, created unsafe conditions for children and harbored vermin in recent years, the San Diego City Attorney's Office announced Friday.
The owners of Hauser's Patio reached out to News 8 Friday morning asking to be put in contact with the couple who had their furniture stolen from their patio in Pacific Beach this week.