A woman who accidentally fell from a cruise ship is reported to have survived without a life jacket for 38 hours before being rescued by fishermen.
The passenger from Shanghai — who is 32 and has been identified only by her last name, Fan — had to rely on her strong swimming skills before being picked up.
Fan and her parents were on a return voyage to Shanghai after a five-day cruise to South Korea and Japan on board Royal Caribbean International ship Mariner of the Seas.
She told her parents that she wanted to walk on the deck alone. She did not seem depressed, her father said. He raised the alarm when she failed to return.
The ship’s cameras caught her walking on the deck but not the moment she fell.
Police said she told them that she fell accidentally after leaning too far over the handrail to enjoy the view last Wednesday evening.
As the search for her began, coastguard officials warned her father that the fall was equivalent to dropping seven stories on to concrete and the possibility of survival was “almost zero,” The Times reported.
“Although we were on board, we have no idea how she dropped into the sea or the location either,” he said. “We were praying.”
The crew of a fishing vessel found her off Zhoushan in eastern Zhejiang province and returned her to land at the weekend. She was admitted hospital and found to be in good condition apart from blisters on her arms caused by jellyfish stings.
Her father at first refused to believe the person who called with the news, and suspected him of fraud.
“Only after I heard my daughter’s voice did I believe she was still alive,” he said. “It’s a miracle.”
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