Kay Longstaff is a British flight attendant who miraculously survived 10 hours in the Adriatic Sea after going overboard from a Norwegian cruise ship.
However, questions have surfaced about how Longstaff ended up in the water, with at least one report indicating that it’s possible she may have jumped into the sea after an argument with her boyfriend. “I’m happy to be alive,” Longstaff said after her dramatic rescue.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Kay Longstaff Went Into the Water 60 Miles From Croatia
According to USA Today, Longstaff, a passenger on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship, went into the water around midnight on Saturday, August 18, 2018.
The Glas Istre news site reported that Longstaff was on a “luxurious cruise” ship, the Norwegian Star, which travels over seven days to Venice, Dubrovnik-Kotor, Katakolon, Athens, and Split.
2. Longstaff May Have Had an Argument With Her Boyfriend
According to USA Today, Longstaff claims she was “sitting at the back of the deck before the fall.” However, other news reports have called that claim into question.
Glas Istre reported that Kay Longstaff, 46, was “supposedly under the clear sky on a deck drinking a cocktail” when she fell into the water about 25 nautical miles southwest of Mali Lošinj.
The Sun, a British tabloid, reported, via Italian police sources, that Longstaff may allegedly have jumped instead of fallen. However, that site says it’s not known for certain whether she jumped or fell.
The Sun reported that police don’t suspect foul play because they reviewed footage that shows Longstaff was alone when she went into the water. Her boyfriend allegedly told police they had argued while drinking, and he went back to his cabin, only to later learn she was overboard. According to The Sun, other passengers also reported that the pair was drinking and arguing.
Daniel Punch who works on the cruise ship, wrote on Facebook, according to Daily Mail, “She didn’t fall, she jumped. It was on my ship. I spoke [to her] throughout the whole week. She was arguing with her fella the whole time.” The post is no longer visible on Punch’s page.
3. Longstaff Works for an Airline & Lives in Spain
Kay Longstaff works as an “air hostess,” according to The Sun. The Times reports that she is originally from Cheltenham, England but now lives in Spain.
According to The Times, Longstaff works as a corporate flight attendant on private jets. News.com.au reports that her boyfriend is named Craig Rayment, and he works as an “expat electrician.” His Facebook page cover photo declares that he is “your reliable electrician” and says he lives in Marbella, Spain.
News.com.au reports that Rayment looked for Longstaff for “hours” before anyone realized she was overboard, and the area where she went into the water has four-foot safety railings.
She was taken to a hospital but released after her rescue. A spokesman for the Croatian Ministry of Maritime Affairs said that cameras were instrumental in saving Longstaff: “Our rescuers were in touch with the Norwegian Star’s crew and by checking CCTV knew the exact moment she fell in the water.”
4. Longstaff Survived Due to Singing & Yoga
How could the woman have survived 10 hours in the water? She says it’s due to yoga and singing. The yoga made her fit enough to sustain hours in the water, the Sun reported; the singing kept her awake and her spirits up.
Lieutenant Frigate Lovro Oreskovic, commander of Cavtat, which rescued Longstaff, told the Glas Istre publication that Longstaff floated in the water. Longstaff raised her hands when she saw the Coast Guard, enabling them to better see her, according to Oreskovic.
Orskovic told the Glas Istre that Longstaff’s survival was a “miracle.” Although the cruise ship circled back to where Longstaff first went into the water, it was the Croatian Coast Guard that spotted and saved her.
5. The Water Conditions Made it Easier for Longstaff to Survive
It’s not easy to survive after going overboard a large cruise ship. However, several factors appear to have aided Kay Longstaff’s survival.
For one, she went into water that is relatively warm and calm, without much wind. According to The Guardian, it would be hard for a person to survive in colder waters.
Being female also helped her because women have layers of subcutaneous fat that enable them to better float, Guardian reported.
Cruise Junkie.com has compiled an exhaustive list of people who have gone overboard from cruise ships or ferries and came up with more than 319 since 1995.