A British woman has been rescued by the Croatian Coast Guard after spending what she said was close to 10 hours treading water overnight in the Adriatic Sea after falling off a cruise ship.
The 46-year-old woman, who identified herself only as Kay, spoke to Croatian state broadcaster HRT shortly after arriving back on land.
“I fell off the back of the Norwegian Star,” she told HRT. “I was in the water for 10 hours, so these wonderful guys rescued me. I'm very lucky to be alive.”
She was then led by medical personnel to an ambulance.
According to Croatian Defence Ministry, the woman had gone overboard from the Venice-bound cruise ship Norwegian Star on Saturday evening a little before midnight local time. Following a search and rescue call for assistance from the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre at the northern port city of Rijeka, the defence ministry dispatched a patrol boat and an airplane.
She was located and rescued little before 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, some 60 nautical miles west of the southern Istrian city of Pula, only 1,300 metres away from the exact spot she fell overboard.
“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 is now safe and will soon be reunited with friends and family,” Norwegian Cruise Lines spokesperson said.
It was unclear how the woman went overboard.