A British woman has survived 10 hours adrift in dark open waters after falling from a cruise ship in the Adriatic Sea.
Kay Longstaff, 46, was rescued after spending a terrifying night in waters about 95 kilometres off the coast of Croatia, coast guard officials said Monday morning (AEST).
Ms Longstaff fell from the Norwegian Star cruise ship shortly before midnight on Saturday local time.
A Croatian rescue ship was sent and found her swimming the next morning not far from where she was believed to have fallen.
She was taken to a hospital in the town of Pula and doctors say she is out of danger.
Ms Longstaff told reporters she was “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,” she told Croatia’s state HRT television as the rescue ship arrived at a dock, without explaining how she fell overboard.
The ship’s captain, Lovro Oreskovic, said that she was exhausted.
“We were extremely happy for saving a human life,” he said.
The circumstances of the incident were being investigated and the British embassy in Croatia was informed.
A statement from the Norwegian Cruise Line said a guest fell overboard while the ship was on its way to Venice.
“We are pleased to advise that the guest was found alive and is currently in stable condition,” the statement said.