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NJ woman stranded at sea 16 hours, swims to shore

By 69 News & Associated Press, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 22 2013 10:50:07 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 22 2013 10:52:50 AM CDT
Ocean, sea

caldexter/SXC

WOODBURY, N.J. -

A college student from southern New Jersey says was stranded at sea for 16 hours while swimming off Honduras and is now safe.

Heather Barnes went to collect coral samples for a project she's doing at New College of Florida at 4 a.m. Friday when she says she started to cramp and got pushed out to sea.

Writing on her Facebook page, Barnes says she realized she had to swim to try to reach safety. She says she eventually reached land, where two people gave her water and used a kayak to take her back to the resort where she was staying.

Barnes is in Florida recovering from sunburn and jellyfish stings.

Her mother, Jennifer Dukelow of Woodbury, Gloucester County, tells WPVI-TV in Philadelphia that she prayed until her daughter called late Friday.