Accidents on cruise ships are rare, but often serious. When passengers go missing from the boat while it is at sea, it rarely ends well. It has, though, for one woman who fell off of the back of The Norwegian Star. She was adrift for more than 10 hours, but was rescued and in surprisingly good condition.
The British woman, who has only been identified as “Kay,” fell off of the back of the 965-foot Norwegian Star off the coast of Croatia. The ship was 60 miles from shore as it headed toward port in Venice.
“I fell off the back of the Norwegian Star,” the 46-year-old told reporters, “and was in the water for ten hours. Then these wonderful guys rescued me.”
It is unclear exactly when she fell from the ship, but the accident was thought to have occurred around midnight Saturday.
“I’m very lucky to be alive. I was sitting at the back of the deck,” she explained.
Why did she fall? That part remains unclear. She survived the fall from the ship, and a search commenced immediately. The Croatian’s coast guard joined the search, and a PC-9 patrolled the skies above.
“The woman was found around 1,400 yards from where she fell in and was brought to safety after 10 hours when rescuers pulled her out of the sea and gave her emergency medical help,” The Daily Mail notes, “before taking her to hospital in Pula.”
The Croatian captain, Lovro Oreskovic, talked about the rescue. “The British woman was exhausted when we pulled her out of the water. We were extremely happy for saving a human life.”
He was pleased with the rescue. “We have shown we are well-trained,” he added.
“In the morning of August 19, a guest went overboard as Norwegian Star made her way to Venice,” the cruise line said in a press release.
“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.”
“Norwegian Star will arrive in Venice at approximately 2.30pm. We are actively working to assist guests whose travel plans will be affected by the expected delay resulting from the search and rescue operation.”
“Embarkation for the next sailing will begin at approximately 5pm.”