Woman rescued after jumping into ocean to swim for cruise ship that left her behind

[File photo of the Marco Polo/Thinkstock]

A woman is lucky to be alive after jumping into the Atlantic Ocean to catch up with a cruise ship that left port without her.

Susan Brown, 65, was pulled out of the water by fisherman, who heard her cries after she was swimming for more than three hours chasing her ship, the Marco Polo, Daily MailOnline reports. She had suffered from severe hypothermia when she was rescued from the icy waters.

“I just saw her pale white face bobbing in the water,‘” one of the fishermen, Marildo Freitas told MailOnline.“She was barely conscious – she’s lucky to be alive – I don’t think she would have lasted another 30 minutes.”

Brown and her husband, Michael, from the U.K. were on a 32-day cruise from the West Indies when they decided to cut their trip short, Metro reports. The two got separated on a stop-off in Madeira at the airport, where they were buying two tickets back home.

Brown changed her mind about cutting the trip short and decided to jump into the water after the ship left Funchal Port at 8 p.m., according to the Daily Star. Her husband flew back to England without her.

Police said the only reason Brown had survived was thanks to her handbag, which kept her afloat, the Daily Star reports.

“She was very lucky to survive,” Funchal Port captain Felix Marques told DailyMail. “She was in the water for more than three hours and was suffering from the effects of hypothermia when she was rescued by fishermen who heard her cries for help around 12:20 a.m. on Sunday.”

She was rushed to a local hospital to the intensive care unit.

Brown is reportedly “out of danger” as of this morning, according to Daily Star.