Yoga fitness and singing helped a British woman survive for hours in the sea after falling from a cruise ship, she is reported to have told a rescuer.

The passenger, named in reports as Kay Longstaff, was pulled from the Adriatic Sea yesterday morning.

Ten hours earlier, she had fallen from the back of the Norwegian Star as it sailed 60 miles off the Croatian coast.

The 46-year-old said she felt "very lucky" to have survived the ordeal and thanked her "wonderful" rescuers as she was taken to a hospital in the Croatian town of Pula.

An unnamed rescuer told The Sun: "She said the fact that she practices yoga helped her as she was fit. And she said she was singing to not feel cold in the sea overnight."

Ms Longstaff reportedly fell from an aft deck of the Norwegian Cruise Line vessel as it sailed for Venice.

She told Croatian news channel HRT: "I fell off the back of the Norwegian Star and I was in the water for ten hours, so these wonderful guys rescued me."

She added: "I am very lucky to be alive ... I was sitting at the back of the deck."

David Radas, Croatian Ministry of Maritime Affairs spokesman, said that by checking CCTV rescuers knew the exact moment Ms Longstaff fell in the water.

"Because they knew the time, they were able to know the exact position of the ship," he told The Sun.

Lovro Oreskovic, captain of the Cavtat rescue ship, said they were "extremely happy for saving a human life".

Norwegian Cruise Line said the ship had been delayed amid the search and rescue operation.

The spokeswoman said: "We are very happy that the individual, who is a UK resident, is now safe and will soon be reunited with friends and family."