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Woman Lost at Sea Survived on Candy

'I still have one lolly left, mum!'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2019 2:06 AM CST
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The Hellenic Coast Guard shared this photo of the rescue.   (Hellenic Coast Guard)

(Newser) – A New Zealand woman lost at sea in a rubber dinghy for two days survived by eating a handful of boiled sweets she had in her day pack. Kushila Stein, 45, was helping a British man bring a yacht from southern Turkey to Athens when she lost an oar and was swept out to sea by strong winds on her way back from taking the dinghy to "stretch her legs" on the island of Folegandros, the BBC reports. She was rescued by the Greek Coast Guard around 40 hours later, 55 nautical miles north of Crete. Stein says she rationed the "boiled lollies" she had with her and also found a use for the three plastic bags she found in her pack, the New Zealand Herald reports. She wrapped herself in them to keep warm at night and during the day, she wore a red one on her head so she could be easily spotted.

Stein, who had no fresh water with her, tied another bag to her remaining oar to wave at passing planes. "She also told me she wrote down my name and number and attached to the dinghy so they would know who to contact if they found her and she was dead," her mother, Wendy Stein, tells Stuff. The mother says Stein is an experienced sailor who has trained others in sea survival. She says after the rescue, Stein shouted over the phone: "I still have one lolly left, mum!" Stein, who was swept out to sea Friday, was found in the Aegean Sea on Sunday after a coast guard operation involving six ships, a helicopter, and an underwater drone. (Read more Greece stories.)

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