Tue, Aug 21, 2018 - Page 7 News List

Passenger rescued after 10 hours in sea

RIGHT SPOT:By reviewing the ship’s CCTV footage, the coast guard determined the position of the ship when the woman went into the water and where she might be

The Guardian

A woman who identified herself as Kay from England on Sunday climbs aboard a Croatian Coast Guard ship about 90km from the Croatian coast in a photograph provided by the Croatian Ministry of Defense.

Photo: AP / Croatian Coast Guard

A British woman has been rescued after spending 10 hours in the Adriatic Sea at night, having fallen from a cruise ship, Croatia’s coast guard said.

The 46-year-old, who gave her name as Kay to local media and was later named Kay Longstaff in UK reports, was taken to hospital in Pula, Croatia, and is understood to be out of danger.

It is understood she fell from the Norwegian Star cruise ship about 100km off Croatia’s coast shortly before midnight on Saturday as the vessel was making its way from the port of Vergarola to Venice, Italy.

The liner raised the alarm and was joined by coast guard and civilian vessels, plus a PC-9 aircraft, at about 6:30am on Sunday.

The woman was spotted at 9:40am and reached by a rescue swimmer from a patrol boat minutes later, Croatian media reported, saying she was about 1.3km away from the spot where she fell in.

The rescued passenger told the Croatian news channel HRT: “I am very lucky to be alive... I fell off the back of the Norwegian Star and I was in the water for 10 hours, so these wonderful guys rescued me.

“I was sitting at the back of the deck and, yeah ... it was bad,” she said before being taken into an ambulance.

An unnamed rescuer told the UK’s Sun newspaper: “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.”

Croatian Ministry of Maritime Affairs spokesman David Radas said that by checking CCTV rescuers knew the exact moment Longstaff fell in the water.

“Because they knew the time, they were able to know the exact position of the ship,” he told the Sun.

The rescue ship’s captain, Lovro Oreskovic, said the woman was exhausted, adding: “We were extremely happy for saving a human life.”

A Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson said: “On 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.”

“We are pleased to advise that the guest was found alive, is currently in stable condition and has been taken ashore in Croatia for further treatment. We are very happy that the individual, who is a UK resident, is now safe and will soon be reunited with friends and family,” the spokesperson said.

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