A woman is lucky to be alive after she fell from a cruise ship cabin balcony into the Atlantic Ocean near the Bahamas.
Travelling on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Epic vessel, the 52-year-old was believed to be taking a selfie when she fell overboard, America’s ABC News reported.
“We did not think she could possibly make it,” passenger Mary Meier said.
“From 15 floors down, that ocean is as hard as cement.”
According to CNN/WESH, witnesses could hear the woman screaming as she plummeted.
“It was very eerie out in the middle of the ocean,” said passenger John Merritt, who heard the screams from his balcony.
“Pitch black, there's no land to be seen anywhere, and there were several other passengers that were on decks outside next to ours that were encouraging her to, you know, 'Don't give up, keep yelling.'”
Another witness, Kareen Kennedy spoke of seeing searchlights from the 14th deck.
“I remember I went in and I prayed for about 30 seconds because I didn't know what to do," said Kennedy, who added that the weather had not been “the best”.
After immediately turning the ship around and dispatching rescue boats, crew were able to save the woman against the odds.
“We found a person in the water and she was picked up and she's now in the hospital, so everything is good there,” the ship’s captain said in a recording after the rescue.
Local media reported that the woman was taken to a hospital close to its final destination at Port Canaveral.
“We are thankful that our team reacted quickly and was able to rescue the guest,” Norwegian Cruise Line said in a statement.
According to the ABC, of the 300-plus people to have fallen off a cruise ship, just 17% are found alive.