A missing tourist has been found on an air mattress that was drifted out to the sea, 6 nautical miles off the North of the island of Crete on Thursday. The woman on the floating mattress was spotted by Frontex aircraft and was rescued by the Greek Coast Guard. The 55-year-old woman was reportedly missing since 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday. She was last seen to take the air mattress from the swimming pool of a hotel in Adelianos Kampos, and head towards the beach.
After she failed to return by the evening, her husband and daughter looked for her at the beach to find only her beach towel and some private items. They informed the hotel management about their missing family member.
Together with her family, the Russian national was having vacation in a hotel in Adelianos Kampos, in the north part of Rethymnon Prefecture.
The hotel staff informed the authorities, a large scale operation was launched by the Coast Guard and police. As it was not known, whether the woman had gone into the sea, the local forces searched both on land and in the sea.
The search and rescue operation was assumed on Thursday morning. Short before 11:30, a Frontex aircraft spotted the woman on the inflatable mattress floating off the area of Skaleta. She had covered 6 nautical miles (11 kilometers), most likely because the mattress was swept away by the currents and the wind.
She was conscious and was able to communicate, however, very exhausted from the nightmare adventure to spend 20 hours in the sea, without water.
The woman was transferred to the hospital where she remains due to some cardiological problems and hypothermia. “Her internal body temperatures was 32 degrees Celsius,” local media report citing the hospital manager.
The weather conditions with strong winds and rough sea were certainly not ideal for such an adventure.
Apart from the coast guard, also fishing boats, jet-skis and private boats took place in the search operation.