A WOMAN is “lucky to be alive” following a dramatic rescue that saw her plucked from the sea 20 miles from Ravenscar after falling over the side of a large passenger ferry.
At around 8.45pm on Monday evening the DFDS vessel Princess Seaways, travelling between Newcastle and Amsterdam, contacted Humber Coastguard to say that a female passenger had been lost overboard.
Friends say that the 23-year-old, of Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire, fell from the ferry while trying to light a cigarette from one of the rails.
She was in the water for approximately 30 minutes before being recovered by the boat’s own emergency response vessel.
A DFDS Seaways spokesperson said: “We confirm that a female passenger fell overboard during the M.S. Princess Seaways crossing last night from Newcastle to Amsterdam.
The crew on board acted immediately and in line with standard rescue procedures, which are practised regularly in simulation exercises.
“The ship’s rescue boat was launched and the woman was rescued and then checked by the ship’s doctor and paramedic onboard.”
The RAF Sea King rescue helicopter was scrambled and transported the woman from the boat to Scarborough Hospital.
Flight sergeant Rick Jones, from RAF Search and Rescue, said the woman was lucky to be alive.
He said: “To survive the fall, the time in the water and for the ferry to find her and for all the assets to be in one place to get one person out of such a vast area of the North Sea, she was incredibly lucky.”
The woman was taken to Scarborough Hospital where she was checked for hypothermia and discharged the following morning.