A cruise passenger who was rescued after spending 10 hours in the sea has been branded a ‘stupid woman’ by the mother of the head of the cruise line.
Kay Longstaff went overboard from the seventh deck of the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) vessel off the coast of Croatia on Saturday.
Now the mother of Andy Stuart, the president of NCL, told The Telegraph that Miss Longstaff must have jumped from the boat, and said her son has branded reports that she fell the 75ft from the liner ‘fake news’.
‘I fell off the back’
Kay Longstaff was pulled from the ocean on Sunday morning after spending 10 hours at sea.
Shortly after her rescue she told Croatian news channel HRT: “I fell off the back of the Norwegian Star and I was in the water for 10 hours, so these wonderful guys rescued me. I am very lucky to be alive.
“I was sitting at the back of the deck.”
A spokeswoman for Norwegian Cruise Line said: “On the morning of August 19th, a guest went overboard as Norwegian Star made her way to Venice.
“The Coast Guard was notified and a search and rescue operation ensued. We are pleased to advise that the guest was found alive, is currently in a stable condition, and has been taken ashore in Croatia for further treatment.
“We are very happy that the individual, who is a UK resident, is now safe and will soon be reunited with friends and family.”
‘She didn’t fall off. She jumped’
Since the incident, reports have emerged that Miss Longstaff jumped deliberately from the ship after arguing with her boyfriend.
NCL President Andy Stuart’s mother said: ‘She didn’t fall off. She jumped. This has cost Norwegian Cruise Line $600,000.
‘This stupid woman.
‘I spoke to Andrew at lunchtime. He phones me almost every day. What he said was ‘this is fake news’.
‘He said that she couldn’t have fallen. You would have to take steps to climb over the railings. He said she jumped in the water.’
The Daily Mail reported that another NCL employee Daniel Punch wrote on Facebook: ‘She didn’t fall, she jumped.
‘It was on my ship. I spoke to her throughout the whole week.
‘She was arguing with her fella the whole time.’
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Response from other passengers
Other passengers on board the Norwegian Star have also cast doubt on the story that Miss Longstaff fell from the ship.
One wrote online that the railings surrounding the area where she went overboard are more than waist high and there were no chairs in the vicinity.
Another passenger, Scott Bailey, wrote on Twitter: ‘The only way you could get off the ship is by climbing over the protective barriers and then jumping.
‘Someone we spoke to said they had seen her crying earlier on.’
A spokesman for Croatian Ministry of Maritime Affairs, said that the investigation was continuing.