Woman 'sang' during 10 hours in sea after she fell off ship
A British air stewardess who fell from the back of a cruise ship has said her yoga fitness and singing helped her to survive 10 hours in the sea.
Kay Longstaff (46) was pulled from the Adriatic Sea on Sunday morning, having plunged from the Norwegian Star as it sailed 100km off the Croatian coast on Saturday.
The tourist said she was "lucky to be alive" and thanked her "wonderful" rescuers as she was taken to a hospital in the Croatian town of Pula.
Rescuers said Ms Longstaff, believed to be a former Virgin Atlantic cabin crew member who now works on private planes, was exhausted but she had recovered by the time they took her ashore.
"She said the fact that she practises yoga helped her as she was fit. And she said she was singing to not feel cold in the sea overnight," an unnamed rescuer told reporters.
Ms Longstaff was found swimming less than 2km from the point where she disappeared from the Norwegian Star as it made its way to Venice. She looked relaxed and happy as she reached the Croatian city of Pula on Sunday morning.
It is not clear how Ms Longstaff came to be in the water, but said she "fell off the back" of the ship.
She told waiting reporters: "I fell off the back of the Norwegian Star and I was in the water for about 10 hours. These wonderful guys rescued me."
Ms Longstaff said she was sitting at the back of the deck before the incident happened, adding: "I am very lucky to be alive".
She is believed to have fallen into the Adriatic from the seventh deck of the 965ft cruise liner just before midnight on Saturday around 100km south of Pula.
The ship alerted the authorities who dispatched the Croatian Coast Guard patrol ship Cavtat and a PC-9 search plane to search for her throughout the night. Three other ships were also involved.
She was eventually found at around 9.30am on Sunday swimming not far from where she disappeared.
It is understood that Ms Longstaff has now been released from hospital and is due to be reunited with her family.
Experts say that more than 300 people have fallen overboard on cruises since 2000. (© Daily Telegraph, London)