Woman survives fall from Norwegian cruise ship near Bahamas

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A 52-year-old woman who was aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship fell overboard Tuesday evening and survived.

The Epic cruise ship was sailing near the Bahamas when the passenger fell overboard.

"As soon as the report was made, the ship maneuvered to allow the crew to begin a search," a company spokeswoman said. "After recovery, the guest was taken to the onboard medical facility for evaluation. It has been reported that (she is) in stable condition."

Passenger Richard Kistler told Channel 9 that he and his wife won't soon forget their first voyage on a cruise ship.

"We were in our cabin. We had the door open to the balcony. I could hear people screaming, 'Help! Help! Help!'" he said. "It was terrifying. I mean, you were sick to your stomach -- just the thought of her being out there in the dark."

Other passengers told the woman to continue shouting for help and to not give up.

Kareen Kennedy, of Lake Mary, told Channel 9 that she felt helpless.

"I went back into my cabin, prayed for about 30 seconds and came back out and just kind of continued to hope for the best," she said. "I didn't even know that it was possible for them to find anyone given how dark it was and given how rough the water was."

Passengers cheered when the ship's captain announced that the passenger had been rescued.

"We found a person in the water, and she was picked up," the captain said. "She is now in the hospital, so everything is good there."

The ship docked at Port Canaveral on Wednesday morning.

"The guest immediately disembarked to receive any additional medical attention necessary on shore," a company spokeswoman said. "We are thankful that our team reacted quickly and was able to rescue the guest."

Kennedy said the rescue was "more than a miracle."

"I think she has nine lives," she said. "And she just used up one of them."