Lost an Oar Returning from Shopping on a Greek Isle

Anybody who cruises knows that inflatable dinghies are notoriously difficult to row and are often equipped with oars that could best be described as vestigial. In strong winds and without a motor, these tenders can prove little better than a blow-up sunpad.

From the Collins English Dictionary: "Vestigial is used to describe the small amounts of something that still remain of a larger or more important thing."

A New Zealand woman was found today "exhausted but in good health" aboard an inflatable dinghy that was blown miles away from an island in the Aegean Sea of Greece, according to Stuff, an online news site. She spent more than 37 hours adrift.

Kushila Stein, 47, was on a catamaran sailing holiday with her husband when she took the dinghy to go shopping on the island of Folegandros last Friday, according to the Greek Reporter.

She phoned her husband when she finished shopping but never returned to the boat. According to news reports, she lost an oar trying to get back to the boat and was blown out to sea by strong winds. Rescuers found Stein about 24 miles from her starting point. Without fresh water she had survived by sucking on hard candies, or as the New Zealanders like to call them "boiled lollies."

This video has a few moments of English and a map showing Stein's location when rescued by the Hellenic Coastguard. 

News reports described Stein as an experienced sailor, who had been trained in ocean survival. "She wrote down my name and number and attached it to the dinghy so they would know who to contact if they found her, and she was dead," Stein's mother told Stuff

This was not the first rescue of its kind in the Aegean Sea. A Russian woman was rescued after many hours adrift on an inflatable sunpad in July 2018, that time off the island of Crete. 

Russian Olga Kuldo, 55 was spotted by a plane checking for illegal immigrants, which dispatched a patrol boat to pick her up.

Russian Olga Kuldo, 55 was spotted by a plane checking for illegal immigrants, which dispatched a patrol boat to pick her up.

Kuldo spent about 20 hours adrift before being rescued.

Kuldo spent about 20 hours adrift before being rescued.

Related