Belfast Telegraph

OAP jumped into sea to chase liner

By Cristina Criddle

A 65-year-old British woman was rescued by Portuguese fishermen after she tried to swim out to her passing cruise liner in pursuit of her husband.

After spending four hours in the water, Susan Brown told hospital officials she jumped into the sea thinking her husband had backed out of their plans to fly back to the UK, ending their cruise early.

Felix Marques, harbour captain and the local maritime police commander at Funchal port in the Madeira Islands, said Mrs Brown and her husband bought tickets to fly home early during a stopover in Madeira.

The cruise was sailing to Lisbon before Bristol, where the couple were returning to that night by plane.

Mr Marques said he did not know why they chose to leave early but, after getting lost and distressed, Mrs Brown threw herself into the sea, mistakenly believing her husband was on the ship.

According to Mr Marques, police have confirmed her husband Michael Brown (69) was in fact not on-board and returned to England.

Mr Marques said they are still trying to get in touch with Mr Brown.

He added: "We are trying to get in contact with Mr Brown to find out, from his side, what happened. We have confirmed he is in England."

Mrs Brown was taken to hospital with advanced hypothermia and is in a psychiatric ward.

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