Woman saved after 38 hours afloat in sea

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By SHI XIAOFENG in Hangzhou and HOU IQIANG in Bei­jing houliqiang@chi­nadaily.com.cn Con­tact the writ­ers at houliqiang@chi­nadaily.com. cn

A 32-year-old Shang­hai woman who fell off a cruise ship that was re­turn­ing to China from Ja­pan was mirac­u­lously saved after float­ing in the sea for more than 38 hours. She even fell asleep for awhile, ac­cord­ing to her fa­ther.

The woman, whose name was not dis­closed, was trav­el­ing with her par­ents aboard the ship on Wed­nes­day evening when her com­pan­ions no­ticed she was miss­ing. She had gone for a walk on the deck at around 8:30 pm but didn’t re­turn. Her par­ents and more than 100 vol­un­teers searched the boat but failed to find her.

The par­ents gave up hope. A po­lice of­fi­cer on the ship told the fa­ther that there was no chance of sur­vival if his daugh­ter had fallen from the deck, which is 20 me­ters above the wa­ter.

So, when the fa­ther re­ceived a phone call on Fri­day in­form­ing him that his daugh­ter had been saved, he thought the call must be from some­one who wanted to de­fraud him of money, ac­cord­ing to a re­port in thep­a­per.cn.

“Only after I heard my daugh­ter’s voice did I be­lieve she was still alive. It’s a mir­a­cle,” the man said.

A fish­eries of­fi­cial sur­named Wang in Zhoushan, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, who wanted only his sur­name used, said that he saw the miss­ing woman.

“She was in a sta­ble con­di­tion when I saw her, with only mi­nor in­juries on her arms,” he said.

Wang’s de­part­ment was called by a fish­ing boat and in­formed that the woman had been found in a coastal area over which Zhoushan has ju­ris­dic­tion. Wang was asked to check out the sit­u­a­tion once the boat ar­rived in port at Zhoushan at 7:40 am on Satur­day.

The woman said she fell off the cruise ship while lean­ing over a 1.4-me­ter rail and gaz­ing into the sea, Wang told China Daily. He said the woman was res­cued at about noon on Fri­day and was too weak to eat un­til din­ner­time.

The woman learned to swim when she was in kinder­garten and is phys­i­cally strong and a good swim­mer, the fa­ther was quoted as say­ing by Shang­haibased Jiefang Daily.

WU LINHONG / FOR CHINA DAILY

The res­cued woman, whose name was not re­leased, steps ashore from a fish­ing ves­sel in Zhoushan, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, on Satur­day morn­ing.

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