Woman, 47, survives two days floating in dinghy


A woman survived two days at sea in a small dinghy by eating boiled sweets after losing an oar near a Greek island.

Kushila Stein, 47, was found 26 miles (43km) south of the island of Folegandros in the Aegean Sea on Sunday.

With no drinking water and chilly nights, she survived on a handful of boiled sweets and wrapped herself in plastic bags.

The experienced offshore sailor, from Warkworth, New Zealand, had been helping a British man, Mike, take his yacht from southern Turkey to Athens, her mother Wendy Stein told Stuff.co.nz.

She took the dinghy from the yacht to Folegandros to stretch her legs on Friday morning and texted the skipper to say she was about to head back to his boat which was moored just off the island.

Two hours later she had not appeared, but he thought she had decided to stay onshore longer and went to bed.

When Ms Stein and the dinghy were still not back at 5am on Saturday he began to search for her and then called the police.

By that time she had been at sea for about 12 hours after the dinghy’s oar went overboard and she found herself drifting out into the Aegean.

The Hellenic Coast Guard said it sent out seven patrol vessels and a search and rescue aircraft, while three private vessels helped, and a Greek navy helicopter.

They eventually found her at 4am on Sunday, floating in the dinghy in between Folegandros and Crete but in “good health”, the coastguard said.

She was taken to hospital for treatment.