While China has been going gaga over its swimmers at Rio, the most incredible swimming feat of all-time was happening in the East China Sea where a Shanghai woman managed to tread water for more than 38 after accidentally falling overboard.
The unfortunate incident occurred at around 9 p.m. last Wednesday evening, a 31-year-old woman surnamed Fan was looking out at the sea from a deck of a cruise ship sailing between Japan’s Fukuoka and Shanghai. Fan then got a much closer look than she had bargained for, accidentally tumbling over the railing and plunging 20 meters down into the waters below, Sohu News reports.
To make matters worse, no one was with Fan when she fell. She tried to call out, but nobody heard her. It was only hours later that her parents finally realized that their daughter was missing. They then had to wait for a day and a half, uncertain if their daughter was alive or dead.
Somehow, Fan was alive. Afterwards, she told police that she is a strong swimmer and had graduated with a degree in athletics. Fan says that for most of the time she drifted along with the sea. Only swimming when she had to get out of the way of giant passing ships. Eventually, she grew tired, but somehow managed to catch some sleep while still staying afloat.
At around 1 p.m. on Friday, she woke up to see a fishing boat from Zhejiang province sailing towards her. The crew fished her out. In the end, she had been in the open sea for over 38 hours without a life jacket.
While you might think that after such a harrowing experience, Fan would be barely alive from the fall, the exposure to the sun and the chilly waters, apparently the worst of her injuries were some jellyfish stings.
Chinese netizens can’t help but be somewhat skeptical about the incredible story:
“She survived 38 hours at sea without anything to drink? That doesn’t seem possible,” one netizen commented.
“The hot sun, the cold water, and she just complains about some jellyfish? Yeah right,” another wrote.
“Do they teach all students how to swim while sleeping at sports universities?” wondered another.
In the end, some would rather just embrace this tale:
“Get this lady to the Olympics, now!”
[Images via Sohu]