An English woman said she feels lucky to be alive as she told how she spent 10 hours in the sea after falling off the back of a cruise ship.
The 46-year-old passenger, who identified herself only as Kay, said she had been sitting at the back of the deck on the Norwegian Star cruise ship when she fell overboard into the Adriatic Sea.
She was rescued by the Croatian coastguard after the incident which happened overnight into Sunday, around 60 miles off the coast, as the ship sailed towards Venice.
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.”
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The woman was exhausted when found swimming not far from the area where she is believed to have fallen, the rescue ship’s captain Lovro Oreskovic said.
He added: “We were extremely happy for saving a human life.”
After speaking to reporters, she was taken to a hospital in the nearby town of Pula.
A spokeswoman for Norwegian Cruise Line, who said the ship had been delayed amid the search and rescue operation, confirmed a passenger had gone overboard.
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 Foreign Office has been in contact with both the cruise line and Croatian port authorities since the rescue.