38 Hours in the cold sea for Chinese cruise passenger

Doug Williams

A 31 year old Chinese woman has survived a 38 hour ordeal after falling from the fourth deck of a cruise ship. This is a height of about seventy feet or seven stories. She miraculously survived with only minor injuries.

The woman, Ms. Fan from Shanghai, was on a five-day cruise with the Royal Caribbean, traveling from Shanghai to South Korea and Japan. She was out observing the view when she slipped and fell.

She called for help, but being in the sea so far down, nobody heard her. Her parents, who were also on the cruise, did not realize that she was missing until several hours later.


She had nothing to hold onto, and she found herself having to tread water the whole time (a full 38 hours) until she caught sight of a fishing boat. She was obviously exhausted but managed to carry on treading water while also dozing off for short periods.

The 69-inch tall woman who studied sport at university and has been swimming since she was very young and this helped considerably in keeping her alive for all that time.

Her minor injuries were mostly blisters caused by jellyfish stings. It’s not known exactly what type of jellyfish but it’s likely to be the Nomura’s jellyfish which is prominent in the east China sea. The Nomura’s can grow bigger than a man at up to 6.6 feet across and weighing 440lb. The sting from this jellyfish is very painful although not usually not fatal, although they have been known to cause eight deaths.


A Nomura jellyfish in Little Munsom island, Jeju-do, South Korea.
A Nomura jellyfish in Little Munsom island, Jeju-do, South Korea.

The woman was rescued after the 38 hours in the cold water without food or water to drink.

One commentator said that she should enter the Olympics. Her Father was so relieved to see her as he thought there was no way she could have survived.


The advice here needs to be. Do not lean too far out over the railing of a ship in case you fall in.


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fmssolution is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival