The woman fell from the Norwegian Star cruise ship, about 95 kilometres off Croatia's coast shortly before midnight on Saturday. https://t.co/uNI4uPdmpy— TheJournal.ie (@thejournal_ie) August 19, 2018
A woman fell off a cruise ship in the Adriatic Sea on Saturday evening, treading water for 10 hours before being rescued.
Kay Longstaff, 46, from the United Kingdom, was on the ship’s deck at 11:30 p.m. when she fell into the water for an as-yet unknown reason. The Norwegian Star, the cruise ship she was on, alerted the Croatian coast guard upon discovering she had gone overboard. The incident occurred near the city of Pula.
“In the morning of August 19th, a guest went overboard as Norwegian Star made her way to Venice,” a spokesperson for the cruise ship said. “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.”
Amazingly, Longstaff survived the ordeal and came out of it relatively unscathed. Many factors played out in her favor, including calm waters that evening and a relatively high temperature in the water. The area of the Adriatic Sea she was in recorded temperatures of 75 degrees that evening.
Longstaff also attributed her survival to her good health. She said her yoga routine helps keep her in shape. She also stayed awake by singing to herself, which she said also helped her stay warm in the water.
She was found at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday. Upon seeing the coast guard, she began waving her arms to draw their attention to her.
“I fell off the back of the Norwegian Star, and I was in the water for 10 hours, so these wonderful guys rescued me,” Longstaff later said.
Her ordeal is a very fortunate circumstance, but if you’re worried about falling off a cruise liner yourself, the fear may be misplaced. Only a few hundred individuals have fallen overboard since the year 2000, while 20 million people board cruise liners each year.
Longstaff’s 10 hours in the Adriatic Sea is a long period of time to be swimming — but in 2016, another individual lasted in the Gulf of Mexico for 20 hours after he fell off his fishing boat.
The best advice for anyone planning to sail on a ship, whether it’s a cruise liner or otherwise, is to be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you’re walking off someplace alone, let someone else know you’re doing so, as well as when you intend to arrive back.
Banner/thumbnail image credit: Antonio Bronic/Reuters