Maritime police in Madeira were questioning a British woman “on her intentions” on Monday after they fished her out of the sea “in a state of hypothermia” as she swam, clutching her handbag, after a cruiseship.
According to media reports, the 65-year-old woman had fallen out with her husband and left the ship “with the intention of returning home by plane”.
Already at the airport, she spotted the Marco Polo carrying her husband into the horizon and “suffered a change of heart”.
She leapt into the sea – we are not informed whether she went in fully clothed or not – and started swimming.
If national tabloid Correio da Manhã is correct, the woman was only ‘rescued’ from her doomed attempts to catch up with the cruiseship “four hours later”, just 500 metres from shore.
Fishermen had spotted her “clutching her handbag, with which she was swimming”, writes the paper.
“Trembling with cold and with evident signs of fatigue”, the woman was admitted to hospital where she remained while her husband was informed of the drama that had unfurled in Marco Polo’s wake.
CM said it was not clear on Monday morning whether the husband would be returning to Funchal to be with his wife, or whether he would continue with the cruise.
It added that maritime police would be “trying to understand the intentions of the female tourist”.