Woman who fell off cruise ship rescued after treading water for 10 hours

U.S. & World

PULA, Croatia (AP) – A British woman who fell from a cruise ship and spent 10 hours in the Adriatic Sea at night sang to stay alive, her rescuers said Monday.

A British woman was rescued after falling from a cruise ship and spending 10 hours in the Adriatic Sea at night. NBC's Bill Neely reports.

The captain of the Croatian rescue ship that found Kay Longstaff, 46, floating some 45 nautical miles off Croatia’s coast said “luckily for her we saw her immediately because she raised and waved her hands when she saw us.”

“I am very lucky to be alive… and I was sitting at the back of the deck… it was bad.”

Lovro Oreskovic told the Glas Istre portal on Monday that Longstaff told the crew that she practices yoga and that she sang while floating to stay awake.

“It is a real miracle that she is alive,” Oreskovic said. “On the cruiser ship they thought she is not. It’s obvious that she’s very fit.”

Longstaff said she fell from the back of the Norwegian Star cruise ship that was sailing toward Venice, Italy, shortly before midnight Saturday. The ship launched a search mission in the area of her fall, but could not find her.

Some 10 hours later, she was rescued by the Croatian coast guard and taken to a hospital in the town of Pula for a 24-hour examination.

A British woman was rescued after falling from a cruise ship and spending 10 hours in the Adriatic Sea at night. NBC's Bill Neely reports.

Hospital director Irena Hristic said Longstaff has suffered stress, but overall she is in good health.

“I fell off the back of the Norwegian Star and I was in the water for ten hours. So these wonderful guys rescued me,” Lovro said. 

“The woman looks young, healthy and is a sports person,” Hristic said. “She said she swam all the time and was conscious.”

Dolores Brenko Skerjanc of the Croatian port authority told state broadcaster HRT that the Adriatic Sea is warm in the summer and that it contributed to the survival.

“She spent a lot of time in the water, but the sea is now quite warm and the chances for survival are better,” she said.

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