Sunday, October 21, 2007

Woman Lasts 19 Hours Afloat In Pacific

A 49-year-old woman has managed to stay afloat for 19 hours in the Pacific Ocean, clutching a water container, until she was rescued. Lillian Ruth Simpson said her canoe flipped in strong winds a couple of kilometres off the Hawaiian coast. She could not restore the canoe, and tried to swim to shore and failed. "The times I thought, 'I'm going to die, I'm going to die,' I would say, 'No, I have three kids and you're not taking me anywhere'," she told the Maui News. She spent a long night dozing off, accidentally swallowing sea water, throwing up and trying to keep warm by wrapping her bathing suit top around her head.By the time Joseph Carvalho Jr, captain of the boat Strike Zone, found Simpson, she could not remember her name. "She told me that she kept telling herself, 'At least the water's warm'," Carvalho said. "Your survival instinct kicks in. She made something out of nothing and that saved her life." She was dehydrated and sunburned. She was treated at a hospital and released. A buoy near where Simpson was floating registered an average water temperature of about 26.6 degrees Celsius this week, said National Weather Service forecaster Robert Ballard.

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