Lucky to be alive: Woman survived 10hrs in sea after cruise ship plunge

A British holidaymaker who fell off the back of a cruise ship into the Adriatic Sea said shes lucky to be alive after she managed to survive 10 hours in open water.

The woman was rescued on Sunday morning by a coast guard team hours after she went missing from the Norwegian Star cruise ship in waters between Italy and Croatia. The woman, who has now been identified as 47-year-old British citizen Kay Longstaff, reportedly fell into the sea from the 294 meter (964ft) vessel at around midnight on Saturday.

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After a rescue operation was put in place, the woman was eventually observed by the Croatian coast guard patrol vessel Cavtat and pulled from the sea at approximately 9.45am local time, reported Croatias HRT News.

Speaking to local media, Longstaff thanked rescuers for finding her against the odds.

“I fell off the back of the Norwegian Star and I was in the water for 10 hours. So these wonderful guys rescued me,” said Longstaff. “Im lucky to be alive,” she added.

Clay Barclay, who was onboard the Norwegian Star cruise vessel, posted an image to social media of the section of the boat where the woman fell over. He said he had been informed that the woman was now being treated for hypothermia.

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A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Lines confirmed that a rescue mission had been put in place after authorities were notified of the late night incident.

“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 is now safe and will soon be reunited with friends and family,” the spokesperson told N1 news.

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