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Yoga fitness and singing ‘helped keep cruise ship fall Briton alive’

The passenger, named in reports as Kay Longstaff, said she was “very lucky” to have survived.

The incident happened in the Adriatic Sea off Croatia (PA Photo/Handout)
The incident happened in the Adriatic Sea off Croatia (PA Photo/Handout)

Yoga fitness and singing helped a British woman survive for 10 hours in the sea after falling from a cruise ship, she is reported to have told a rescuer.

The passenger, named in reports as Kay Longstaff, was pulled from the Adriatic Sea on Sunday morning, having fallen from the back of the Norwegian Star as it sailed 60 miles off the Croatian coast on Saturday.

Kay Longstaff along with the Croatian Coast Guard aboard the patrol boat Cavtat (MoD Croatia/PA)

The 46-year-old said she felt “very lucky” to have survived the ordeal and thanked her “wonderful” rescuers as she was taken to a hospital in the Croatian town of Pula.

An unnamed rescuer told The Sun: “She said the fact that she practices yoga helped her as she was fit. And she said she was singing to not feel cold in the sea overnight.”

Ms Longstaff reportedly fell from an aft deck of the Norwegian Cruise Line vessel as it sailed for Venice late on Saturday night.

(PA Graphics)

She told Croatian news channel HRT: “I fell off the back of the Norwegian Star and I was in the water for 10 hours, so these wonderful guys rescued me.”

She added: “I am very lucky to be alive.

“I was sitting at the back of the deck.”

David Radas, Croatian Ministry of Maritime Affairs spokesman, said that by checking CCTV rescuers knew the exact moment Ms Longstaff fell in the water.

The Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia released images from the rescue (Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia/PA)

“Because they knew the time, they were able to know the exact position of the ship,” he told The Sun.

Lovro Oreskovic, captain of the Cavtat Coast Guard rescue ship, said they were “extremely happy for saving a human life”.

The Croatian Coast Guard said the ship and an aircraft launched a search at around 6.30am local time on Sunday after Ms Longstaff fell just before midnight on Saturday.

The ship’s crew spotted her in the sea around 9.40am and one of the crew dived in the sea to haul her out and take her to hospital.

She was found around a mile from where she fell.

The Cavtat rescue ship back in port (Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia/PA)

Mr Oreskovic added: “We have saved a human life, and nothing else compares to it. Throughout the dramatic rescue action we have demonstrated to be well-trained and skilled. I am proud of the entire crew, and particularly of Ensign Marin Delic, a rescue swimmer who took the woman, exhausted from the long hours spent in the sea, to the deck.”

Norwegian Cruise Line said the ship had been delayed amid the search and rescue operation.

The spokeswoman said: “We are very happy that the individual, who is a UK resident, is now safe and will soon be reunited with friends and family.”

It is understood the UK Foreign Office has been in contact with both the cruise line and Croatian port authorities since the rescue.

Press Association

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