A 73-year-old woman surnamed Zhang survived for more than one
hour, floating in the freezing cold water of the Yilan River in
Taiwan's Yilan County on Wednesday, the local media reports.
A local resident saw her and reported a "floating corpse" to the
firemen, who later came but were surprised to see her blinking and
holding up one hand.
Her survival is "really a miracle," a fireman was quoted as
saying, as the temperature was only 5 or 6 degrees Celsius at the
According to the firemen, Zhang was frozen stiff after falling
into the river, which prevented her from struggling, and her
clothes were inflated by the current. This helped her to float on
the water without sinking.
Zhang was then sent to the hospital.
According to the doctor, her body temperature had fallen to 3.5
degrees Celsius. After being given first aid, Zhang was out of
danger for the time being. She is now in the intensive care unit
for possible pneumonia.
It is important to relax your body and keep your head out of the
water to prevent drowning, according to the doctor and rescue
(CRI January 28, 2008)