'Miraculous' survival after nine-hour sea ordeal

02:24, Feb 18 2013

A young Auckland woman's survival after nine hours at sea is being called "miraculous" by police.

The 23-year-old spent yesterday recovering in hospital after treading water off the coast of Takapuna for much of Thursday night.

The Greenhithe woman was reported missing about 11pm on Thursday, sparking a police and Eagle helicopter search.

She was rescued about 500 metres from shore at 7.45am yesterday by the police launch Deodar.

She was slightly hypothermic when rescued.

"She had a clear determination not to die, she was obviously a good swimmer too," Detective Sergeant James Watson said.

"Without a floatation device, that's a good period of time to be in the water, without a doubt."

Calm, warm weather would have aided the woman's survival, he said.

Rescuers suspected the woman to have eaten a decent meal before she was reported missing around 11pm.

"She obviously had plenty of energy," Watson said. "Someone with the desire not to live might not have lasted."

The woman was doing well and expected to make a full recovery, he said.

She was also being assessed by psychiatric services at Auckland City Hospital.

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