New Zealand tourist lost at sea for two days survives by rationing 'a handful of boiled lollies' after getting washed away as she paddled back to a yacht in Greece
An experienced sailor survived two days at sea on an inflatable dinghy after losing her oar and drifting more than 110 kilometres off the coast of a Greek island.
Kushila Stein, 45, from New Zealand, was found floating on the dinghy in the middle of the Aegean Sea, north of Heraklion in Crete on Sunday.
She wrapped herself in plastic bags to stay warm, and survived without drinking water by snacking on a 'handful of boiled sweets' during her two nights lost at sea.
Ms Stein had been on a yacht with a British man when she decided to take the dinghy out for the day to stretch her legs, her mother Wendy Stein told Stuff.
New Zealand sailor Kushila Stein (pictured) has survived two days at sea in Greece on a tiny inflatable dinghy after losing an oar
Ms Stein (pictured) told local reporters strong winds and forced her vessel off course and she was unable to control where she was going
The British man, named Mike, had been transporting the vessel from southern Turkey to Athens with Ms Stein's help.
Local reports in Greece had claimed she was travelling with her husband, but her connection to Mike is unclear.
After spending most of Friday shopping on the nearby Greek island of Folegrandos, Ms Stein had messaged him to say she was on her way back.
When she failed to return that afternoon, he assumed she’d decided to stay ashore.
When she was still not back at 5am on Saturday, he became worried and began searching for her.
He then raised the alarm with the coast guard and a large-scale search began involving a Hellenic Navy boat and three private boats.
After nearly 40 hours at sea, with no drinking water, she was finally rescued.
Her mother, Wendy Stein, told the NZ Herald that Kushila was an experienced sailor who had previously instructed others in how to survive at sea.
The 45-year-old had worn a red bag on her head to make herself known to passing boats, and also waved an oar at planes as they flew by.
To keep warm, she reportedly hung her socks out to dry on the side of the dinghy and put them on at night.
In addition, she rationed out her supply of boiled lollies over her 37-hour ordeal to keep herself alive.
The woman, 45, was found floating on a dinghy in the Aegean Sea, 55 nautical miles north of Heraklion in Crete on Sunday