Kushila Stein New Zealand woman survives 40 hours lost out in Greece’s Aegean Sea after losing her oar and floating 70 miles away. Survives off boiled sweets.
Kushila Stein, 47, was found floating in the middle of the Aegean Sea, north of Heraklion in Crete on Sunday.
The Kiwi national wrapped herself in plastic bags to stay warm, and survived without drinking water by snacking on a ‘handful of boiled sweets’ during her two nights lost at sea.
Stein an experienced sailor hailing from Warkworth had been on a yacht with a British man when she decided to take the dinghy out to stretch her legs, NZ’s Stuff reported.
At some point on Friday, Stein whose phone battery was running low had messaged the man that she’d be returning ashore later that afternoon. It wasn’t until Saturday, 5am that the man, yet to hear from Stein, became worried and began searching for her.
An alarm was raised with the coast guard, leading to a large-scale search involving a Hellenic Navy boat and three private boats.
After nearly 40 hours at sea, with no drinking water, Kushila Stein was finally rescued.
Missing Kiwi national was experienced sailor who orchestrated her own survival:
Her mother, Wendy Stein, told the NZ Herald that her daughter was an experienced sailor who’d previously instructed others in how to survive at sea.
The 47-year-old woman had worn a red bag on her head to make herself known to passing boats, and also waved an oar at planes as they flew by.
To keep warm, she hung her socks out to dry on the side of the dinghy and put them on at night.
In addition, she rationed out her supply of boiled lollies over her 37-hour ordeal to keep herself alive.
Ms Stein wrote her mother’s name and phone number on the side of the dinghy in case she died before being rescued.
She was taken to hospital for treatment.
Stein is reported to have told her mother, ‘I did everything I could to survive’.
‘She has been trained in sea survival so is quite competent. I think that might have saved her life,’ the mother added.
Of note, the mother told of her daughter having a remaining lollie had she been forced to spend a third night out in the ocean.