A 65-year-old British woman, still clutching her handbag, has been rescued by fishermen while reportedly trying to swim to the cruise ship Marco Polo in the Atlantic following an argument with her husband.
Susan Brown was suffering from hypothermia after four hours immersion in seawater, the Guardian reported.
Fishermen came to her rescue after hearing her cries for help.
Portuguese daily Correio da Manha said the woman and her husband had earlier disembarked from the cruise ship Marco Polo – a popular ship with Australians, incidentally – at the Portuguese port of Funchal. The couple had decided to fly back to Britain after having an argument.
Later, somehow the woman dived into the water at Funchal and started swimming after the ship, under the erroneous impression her husband was still aboard. He had in fact caught the first flight home to Britain.
Felix Marques, head of the Funchal port authority, was quoted as saying: “I think it was impulsive, to try to swim to the boat … she was upset and desperate.”
Marlldo Freitas, one of the fishermen who rescued Brown, said she looked like a Titanic survivor when they found her in the water.
Written by Peter Needham