British woman has been rescued 10 hours after falling from cruise ship in the Adriatic

  • img Harvey Cawdron
  • POSTED ON 20 Aug 2018


Croatia's coastguard has said that a woman from the UK has been rescued after spending 10 hours in the Adriatic sea after falling from a cruise ship. 

The 46-year-old, identified as Kay Longstaff by UK papers, was taken to hospital in Pula, Croatia, and is understood to be out of danger. 

It is thought that she fell from the Norwegian Star cruise ship roughly 60 miles off the coast of Croatia shortly before midnight on Saturday as the boat was venturing from the port of Vergarola to Venice in Italy. 

The liner sounded the alarm and received help from coastguard and civilian vessels, as well as a PC-9 aircraft, around 6:30am on Sunday. Croatian media claimed that she was seen at 9:40am and reached by a rescue swimmer from a patrol boat just minutes later. She was around 1.3km away from the spot where she fell in. 

The woman told the Croatian news channel HRT that '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.'

Before being taken by an ambulance she said 'I was sitting at the back of the deck and, yeah ... it was bad'. 

A rescuer told the Sun that '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.' 

David Radas, a spokesman for the Croatian ministry of maritime affairs, claimed that rescuers were able to figure out the exact time she fell in the water by checking CCTV footage. He told the Sun that 'Because they knew the time, they were able to know the exact position of the ship'. 

Lovro Oreškovi?, the captain of the rescue ship, claimed that she was exhausted, adding that '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 currently under investigation and the British embassy in Croatia has been informed. 

According to the Express, it has been reported that Longstaff had been drinking on the night of the incident.

This comes just weeks after an incident in July, in which a cruise ship worker fell overboard whilst travelling on the the Norwegian Getaway - also run by Norwegian Cruise Line - and ended up being stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. He was rescued 22 hours after falling in, and was found 26 miles outside of the coastguard's search zone. 

In May, a search was called off after an 80-year-old man from Australia fell off the Sun Princess cruise ship whilst voyaging from Indonesia to Malaysia.