Tourist survived two days at sea by eating sweets after dinghy swept away from holiday island

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A tourist survived two days at sea by eating boiled sweets after her dinghy was swept away from a holiday island.


Kushila Stein, 47, drifted 26 miles from the Greek island of Folegandros in the Aegean Sea after the boat’s oar fell overboard. Despite having no drinking water, she survived by rationing the few boiled sweets she had in her bag while wrapping herself in plastic bags to stay warm.

Kushila Stein, 47, drifted 26 miles from the Greek island of Folegandros in the Aegean Sea after the boats oar fell overboard. Picture: Hellenic Coast Guard

Kushila Stein, 47, drifted 26 miles from the Greek island of Folegandros in the Aegean Sea after the boats oar fell overboard. Picture: Hellenic Coast Guard

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Ms Stein, an experienced offshore sailor, from Warkworth, New Zealand, also wrote down her mother’s contact details and attached them to the vessel in case she was found dead.

She had reportedly been helping a British man named Mike transport his yacht from southern Turkey to Athens when she decided to take the dinghy for a trip to Folegandros on Friday, her mother Wendy Stein told Stuff.co.nz. She messaged Mike that afternoon to say she was about to head back to the boat.

But when there was still no sign of Ms Stein and the dinghy by 5am, he began to search for her and alerted the police. By this point Ms Stein had been stuck out at sea for about 12 hours.

She was found between Folegandros and Crete in the early hours of Sunday morning.

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Ms Stein’s mother said her daughter pointed a mirror towards the sun every time a plane flew overhead in an attempt to catch someone’s attention. She added: “She told me: ‘I did everything I could to survive.’”