Woman rescued at sea near Chiba after drifting 80 kilometers from beach

A woman in her 20s has been rescued at sea near Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, some 80 kilometers away from the beach where she went missing 36 hours earlier. She is said to be dehydrated but conscious, and her condition is not life-threatening.

The Chinese national went missing while swimming at a beach in Shimoda City, Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan, at around 7:30 p.m., on Monday. Police, firefighters and Coast Guard personnel conducted search and rescue operations.

Coast Guard officials say the crew of a freighter spotted the woman in a swim ring off the Boso Peninsula shortly before 8 a.m. on Wednesday. She was rescued by the crewmembers of a tanker which was contacted by radio.

The woman was later airlifted by a Coast Guard helicopter and transported by emergency workers to a hospital in Yokohama.

Coast Guard officials say the woman was wearing a black one-piece bathing suit at the time.

The woman told officials that she noticed she was drifting about 30 minutes after she began swimming. She said she tried hard to return to the beach but was not able to.

Rescuers say moderately strong winds with a speed of about 36 kilometers per hour were blowing at the time.

Police and Coast Guard officials believe the woman was swept away by the currents and winds.