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U.K. woman rescued 10 hours after falling from cruise ship off Croatia

A British woman was rescued after falling from a cruise ship and spending 10 hours in the Adriatic Sea at night, Croatia's Coast Guard said.

'It is a real miracle that she is alive,' captain of rescue ship says

Kay Longstaff, 46, from England climbs aboard a Croatian Coast Guard ship some 90 kilometres from the Croatian coast on Sunday. (Croatian Coast Guard/Defence Ministry via AP)

A British woman who fell from a cruise ship and spent 10 hours in the Adriatic Sea at night sang to stay alive, her rescuers said Monday.

The captain of the Croatian rescue ship that found Kay Longstaff, 46, floating some 45 nautical miles off Croatia's coast said that "luckily for her, we saw her immediately because she raised and waved her hands when she saw us."

Lovro Oreskovic told the Glas Istre portal on Monday that Longstaff told the crew she practises yoga and she sang while floating to stay awake.

Longstaff is escorted by rescuers from the coast guard vessel in the port in Pula. (The Associated Press)

"It is a real miracle that she is alive," Oreskovic said. 

Longstaff said she fell from the back of the Norwegian Star cruise ship that was sailing toward Venice shortly before midnight Saturday. The ship launched a search mission in the area of her fall, but could not find her.

'These wonderful guys rescued me,' Kay says of the Croatian coast guard who pulled her from the Adriatic Sea 0:15

Some 10 hours later, she was rescued by the Croatian Coast Guard and taken to a hospital in the town of Pula for a 24-hour examination.

Hospital director Irena Hristic said Longstaff has suffered stress, but overall she is in good health.

"The woman looks young, healthy and is a sports person," Hristic said. "She said she swam all the time and was conscious."

Dolores Brenko Skerjanc of the Croatian port authority told state broadcaster HRT that the Adriatic Sea is warm in the summer and that contributed to Longstaff's survival.

"She spent a lot of time in the water, but the sea is now quite warm and the chances for survival are better."