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Luxury cruises

UK woman is rescued 10 hours after falling off cruise ship in Adriatic Sea at night

Kay Longstaff reportedly fell off the Norwegian Star liner 100km from Croatia’s coast

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 August, 2018, 8:16am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 August, 2018, 8:16am

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

The 46-year-old, who gave her name as Kay in an interview with local media, and was identified as Kay Longstaff by British media, was taken to hospital in Pula, Croatia, and is understood to be out of danger.

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 to Venice in Italy. A Croatian rescue ship was scrambled and found the woman on Sunday morning swimming not far from where she was believed to have fallen into the water.

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.

The ship’s captain, Lovro Orešković, 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 coastguard 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 circumstances of the incident are being investigated and the British embassy in Croatia has been informed.

It comes weeks after a cruise ship worker fell overboard while travelling on the Norwegian Getaway – also run by Norwegian Cruise Line – and was left stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. The 33-year-old man, believed to be from the Philippines, was rescued 22 hours later after being found 42km outside the coastguard search zone in July.

A search was called off in May after an 80-year-old Australian man fell off the Sun Princess cruise ship while journeying from Indonesia to Malaysia.