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Woman marooned for 3 days with dead husband

Published: 30 May 2011 07:36 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 May 2011 07:36 GMT+02:00

An elderly woman was stuck alone on an island with her dead husband for three days after he drowned and washed up on shore after a boating accident on a lake in northwestern Sweden last Wednesday.

The accident occurred near an island in Fisksjön lake between Hammarstrand and Kälarne in Jämtland County.

The 65-year-old woman and her 72-year-old husband were out on their rowboat when a sudden gust of wind caused the boat to capsize, he local Länstidningen newspaper of Östersund reported.

While the woman was able to swim back to shore of the island where the couple had a summer cabin, her husband drowned and later washed up on shore.

After the accident, the woman attempted to call emergency services on her mobile phone, but the phone didn't work and her calls for help weren't heard on the mainland.

The 65-year-old old woman found herself marooned with her dead husband, unable to eat or sleep for three days.

"She was in shock the whole time," her son told the Expressen newspaper.

But on Saturday, the woman heard voices on the mainland and began banging and calling for help.

This time, her cries were heard and she was rescued.

Police received reports around noon on Saturday that a 72-year-old man had drowned in a boating accident, only learning later that the accident had occured three days earlier.

"There were some kids who heard her and their father went out and saw the body," Magnus Sundström, an emergency services worker who led the operation, told Expressen.

While police have launched an investigation into the incident in accordance with standard procedures, there are no suspicions that a crime was committed, according to Sveriges Radio (SR).

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:14 May 30, 2011 by StockholmSam
Let this be lesson to you. Always leave a trip itinerary with someone when you do something like this.
08:41 May 30, 2011 by Keith #5083
Tough woman. I don't think I'd survive 3 days in our lakewater at current temperatures.

Good reminder StockholmSam.
09:16 May 30, 2011 by karex
The poor lady. Really tough for an elderly person.
09:27 May 30, 2011 by J Jack
Another one so early in the season. Considering their age they were probably experienced also. A capsizing is a shocking and disorienting experience and can restrict your ability to access life vest and sos equipment. Perhaps the guy was trying to get supplies trapped under the waterline. It is a relief that she survived but a float plan would have alerted a 3rd party of their not returning home. I have noticed that sos flares are not displayed in the boat shops here either, but a hooligan horn or attack alarm would at least be something to carry. My condolences for her loss.
11:46 May 30, 2011 by Strongbow
No place in that lake has more than 500 meters to shore. Three days of drifting is almost a feat.
13:08 May 30, 2011 by jamesblish
That is one tough lady.
13:14 May 30, 2011 by eppie
@strongbow

Indeed just checked it on google maps. My guess is that the local confused lakes.
21:31 May 30, 2011 by dizzymoe33
It is a tragedy but I wonder if the man had a life jacket one? That is the number one problem we have here in the States with people being around water they never where their life jackets. Stupid it is such a simple thing to do.
22:03 May 30, 2011 by Kina_observer
Really a tragedy.
08:26 June 2, 2011 by Ingrid
Very sad story. I think some of the commenters are confused. The woman swam to shore immediately. She was not in the lake for 3 days. The man's body floated to shore. The man's body was not floating for 3 days. The woman and her husband's body waited 3 days ahore/on land before help came.
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