A WOMAN who was plucked from pitch-black waters 20 miles off Scarborough after plunging from a ferry was discharged from hospital yesterday.
The 23-year-old fell from the Newcastle to Holland Princess Seaways DFDS ferry at around 8.35pm on Monday, and spent around 30 minutes in the water before she was saved by the ferry’s rescue craft and airlifted by an RAF Sea King helicopter to Scarborough Hospital.
Speaking to the Evening News yesterday, Lieutenant James Bullock, who was flying the rescue helicopter, said: “It is just a head bobbing about in the dark and I didn’t expect a good outcome.
“As far as I am aware she was just treading water in her clothes for all that time. That’s hard to do in a swimming pool.”
Lieut Bullock, who arrived at Scarborough Hospital at 10:08pm, said that the water had a temperature of around 13C.
He added: “Once she was winched on-board she was bemused, shocked and scared, but her vital signs were fine.
“Personally I have never had a good outcome after a report of a person in the sea at night. The woman was extremely lucky.”
How the woman, who is not from the Scarborough area, came to be in the water is unclear, but it is believed that she was on the ferry’s decking with a friend before she fell.
The woman’s companion immediately raised the alarm and the ferry’s captain put the vessel into reverse and launched its rescue craft.
The Scarborough Lifeboat was sent out to search for the woman, but she was recovered by the ferry’s rescue craft before it got to the location.
Mike Green, watch manager at the Humber Coastguard, said: “The crew of the ferry were very efficient. It could easily have been a very different outcome.”