A British flight attendant sang in the sea (that’s sang, not sank) after she fell into the ocean (allegedly naked or semi-naked) and spent 10 hours desperately treading water throughout the night.

Kay Longstaff, 46, somehow went off the back of NCL’s Norwegian Star as it sailed almost 100km off the coast of Croatia. The flight attendant, who was plucked from the sea on Sunday morning in a miraculous rescue, rightly considers herself lucky to be alive.

She was on a holiday cruise when the incident happened.

The New York Post said Longstaff attributed her survival to the fact that she practices yoga (which kept her fit) and singing in the sea (to take her mind off feeling cold).

Extremely good luck would have had a lot to do with it.

Exactly how Longstaff managed to “fall overboard” (very difficult on a cruise ship) is being investigated. The Daily Mail online quoted a ship’s staffer named Daniel Punch who reckoned in a Facebook exchange that Longstaff jumped into the water after a day spent drinking and arguing with her boyfriend and friends.

“She didn’t fall, she jumped,” Punch said. “It was on my ship. I spoke [to her] throughout the whole week. She was arguing with her fella the whole time.”

Kay Longstaff being interviewed by Croatian media after the rescue

Britain’s Daily Express ran a headline: Cruise ship Briton ‘jumped overboard after drunken row’

The online version of London’s Sun quoted a passenger saying: “She didn’t fall off, she jumped off. She took all her kit [clothes] off and jumped off the side of the ship.

“This is what the crew told us when we were on the ship before disembarking. You can kind of tell by the pictures that she wasn’t wearing much when she was rescued.”

Whatever the circumstances, it was only when Longstaff’s handbag and passport were found aboard – while their owner appeared to have vanished – that the alarm went up. The ship was by that time sailing towards Venice.

The ship returned to the position where CCTV indicated Longstaff had gone overboard but couldn’t locate her. Croatian rescue teams then joined in.

Norwegian Star

The Croatian Coast Guard service rescued Longstaff (who works on private jets, having formerly worked for Virgin Atlantic cabin crew) not much farther than a kilometre from where she fell.

“I fell off the back of the Norwegian Star and I was in the water for 10 hours,” she told Croatian news outlet HRT. “So these wonderful guys rescued me. I am very lucky to be alive.”

Written by Peter Needham