A British woman who had been traveling on a Norwegian Star cruise ship was pulled from the water alive after more than ten hours. 46-year-old Kay Longstaff tumbled overboard from the cruise ship into the dark waters of the Adriatic Sea.
The woman had fallen from the back of the cruise ship as the vessel was traveling about 60 miles off the coast of Croatia. The incident occurred late on Saturday night.
An unnamed rescuer told The Sun, "She said the fact that she practices yoga helped her as she was fit. And she said she was singing to not feel cold in the sea overnight.
"David Radas, Croatian Ministry of Maritime Affairs spokesman, said that by checking CCTV rescuers knew the exact moment Ms Longstaff fell in the water."
Fox News reports, “A Croatian rescue ship was scrambled and found her swimming not far from where she was believed to have fallen.”
The woman gave an interview to the Croatia news service HRT after her ordeal, in which she said: "I was in the water for 10 hours, so these wonderful guys rescued me."
According to Global News, Ms. Longstaff exclaimed, “I am very lucky to be alive.”
Longstaff also disclosed to the Captain of the rescue ship that the way she managed to stay awake through the night was by singing to herself.
Lovro Oreskovic, the captain of the vessel that ended up rescuing the passenger said that when she was pulled from the sea, the woman was “exhausted.” He went on to say, "we were extremely happy for saving a human life".
A Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson said: "In the morning of 19 August, a guest went overboard as Norwegian Star made her way to Venice. The Coast Guard was notified and a search and rescue operation ensued."
No details were given as to the reason the woman went overboard, but it is clear that the experience was nothing short of horrendous. Lucky to have survived the plunge itself, the 46-year-old then had to spend the long hours swimming and treading water, not knowing if anyone would ever find her.
Rescuers said that when they found her, she was very close to where she had entered the water. Once she was pulled from the sea, the British woman was taken to a hospital in the city of Pula where she is reported to be in stable condition.
We wish the very best for Ms. Longstaff as she continues to recover from her ordeal - both physically and emotionally. That second part could take a while!