EDINBURGH, Scotland — A seriously ill 73-year-old British woman was accidentally dropped into the bitterly cold Norwegian Sea as rescue workers took her off a cruise ship, police said yesterday.
The ordeal has left her hospitalized for more than three weeks.
Janet Richardson spent four minutes treading water March 29 after Norwegian coast guard officers let her stretcher slip into the sea as they were evacuating her from a Scandinavian cruise ship, rescue officials said.
Richardson spent a week in intensive care and remains hospitalized in England, her husband said.
The botched rescue came on the eighth day of the cruise from Hull on the east coast of England.
According to organizer Cruise and Maritime Voyages, Richardson began suffering from internal bleeding during the homeward leg of a two-week cruise on the Ocean Countess.
The great-grandmother was lowered about 25 feet to the rescue ship when the vessels suddenly parted and she fell into the water, said her husband, George.
Norwegian police said they have launched an investigation.