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NZ woman survives ferry leap

A woman has jumped fully clothed and with her suitcase off a New Zealand interisland ferry, sparking an eight-vessel search and rescue.

 
 

A woman has jumped fully clothed and with her suitcase off a New Zealand interisland ferry, sparking an eight-vessel search and rescue.

The 63-year-old woman from Tauranga jumped from the Bluebridge ferry the Santa Regina in the Queen Charlotte Sound near Ngamahau Bay just before 11.30pm (2130 AEDT) on Thursday, police said.

Ferry staff alerted emergency services and eight vessels, including the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, joined the search.

She was found in the water by the ship Felix, not far off the shore at Ngamahau Bay, just after 1am (2300 AEDT) and flown to Wellington Hospital for treatment.

The woman had somehow managed to swim about 300 metres, despite being fully clothed, Sergeant Mark Kirkwood of Blenheim police said.

She was suffering hypothermia-type issues but would survive, he said.

Police had yet to speak to her about why she jumped from the ferry, with her suitcase, and it was too early to say whether charges would be laid.

 
 

 
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