A 65-year-old woman was the first to be rescued from the Eastern Star after being trapped inside an air pocket for nearly 17 hours. [Special coverage]
Zhu Hongmei, from Jiangsu province, was rescued along with several others. She and her husband, who is still missing, had boarded the vessel for a sightseeing tour.
She was sent to People's Hospital in Jianli county, Hubei province, where she is in stable condition.
A doctor at the hospital who examined Zhu said that she is suffering from bronchitis and has a fever. She also has a history of hypertension and diabetes.
Zhu was on the lowest deck of the four-deck cruise ship when it capsized in high winds and heavy rain on Monday evening.
After the vessel turned over, she found herself at the top of the wreck.
Guan Dong, one of the divers taking part in the rescue, said an air pocket between 1 and 1.5 meters deep formed inside the hull. He saw people who were trapped in it sitting on a water pipe.
"The air was thin in that area, but they were able to breathe," Guan said.
Video footage from China Central Television showed that rescuers in orange life vests climbing on the upturned hull, with one of them lying down and tapping with a hammer and listening for a response.
Zhu said that she heard the tapping before being found by the rescuers.
They instructed her on how to use scuba equipment before she was pulled from the vessel. She was guided into the muddy waters with the help of three rescuers, Guan said.
Guan continued to search for other survivors, but could barely see under the water.
"I had to listen carefully ... to find people still alive," he said.
A 21-year-old man was found and rescued after Guan searched the hull a third time.
The local tourism authority in Nanjing has arranged for passengers' family members to go to the scene of the accident, and more than 90 families have signed up for this.