Swimmer rescued 80km off Japan coast after 36 hours

A woman swimming in Japan has been rescued after being swept away 80km (50 miles) from the beach where she was bathing with friends.

The Chinese woman in her 20s was wearing a rubber bracelet and had been underwater for 36 hours before being discovered by a cargo ship off a peninsula south of Tokyo.

A smaller boat nearby was alerted and two crew members jumped into the sea to rescue her, AFP news agency reported.

A Coast Guard helicopter later airlifted the dehydrated but conscious woman to hospital, Kyodo news agency reported.

Police were alerted on Monday evening when the woman, who has not been named, was reported missing after going swimming in Shizuoka Prefecture, southwest of the capital.

“It was about 7:55 p.m. [10:55 GMT] “We received information on July 8 after the woman’s friend reported to a nearby convenience store that she was missing,” a local Japan Coast Guard official told AFP.

He said there was “80km in a straight line” between the beach the girl was on and where she was rescued off the Boso peninsula of Chiba prefecture.

“But it is believed that she drifted a much greater distance.”

The woman told rescuers she was unable to return to the beach after being swept out to sea because of the rubber band.

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