Sailor, 62, Who Vanished At Sea Found Alive 43 Hours Later
A 62-year-old sailor who went missing off the east coast of Florida has been found nearly two days later, clinging on to his capsized boat.
Stuart Bee was miraculously found alive, 86 miles away from the coast, after 43 hours of clinging onto his 32-foot motorboat, Stingray.
Alarms were first raised when Bee didn’t come home from his trip on Friday, November 27, after setting off at around 4.00pm in the afternoon.
His family alerted the coast guard, explaining it’s unusual for him to be gone all night. Although it is reported he hadn’t given his family a specific time he would be back, he never usually stays out on the water for more than 24 hours at a time.
The US Coast Guard then began searching, with the help of a Hercules C-130 aircraft, but it wasn’t until Sunday morning, November 29, that Bee was spotted by a passing container ship, as he held onto his boat for dear life.
Crew working on the 225-foot container, called Angeles, helped to rescue the 62-year-old and brought him back to the shore, after 43 hours stranded at sea.
Bee had set sail from Cape Marina in Port Canaveral at around 4.00pm local time on November 27, and he was rescued at around 11am on Sunday, November 29.
Although he is an experienced sailor, his motorboat is thought to have suffered some kind of mechanical issue on the Saturday, November 28. Bee was then woken up in the night, when water began pouring into the boat, forcing him into the front hatch, at around midnight.
Fortunately for the sailor, after sunrise he spotted the Angeles, so he took off his shirt and began waving it in a bid to get the crew’s attention.
Lacruiser P. Relativo was one of the crew aboard the container ship, who gave Bee some fresh clothes to wear, before taking a picture with him.
‘I choose to offer him my lucky shirt. I could give him a new one but this one is my favourite. I wish him the same comfort this shirt has given me during those tiring job interviews. Just like him, I was lucky to get the job. He was lucky too that our course crossed near Atlantic,’ he wrote on Facebook, as the MailOnline reports.
Relativo went on to explain that when they finally reached Bee, he immediately asked what day it was.
In a statement, Captain Mark Vlaun, commanding officer of the Jacksonville sector of the US Coast Guard, said:
Saving lives at sea is our highest calling. This is a truly incredible outcome that demonstrates the bond among all mariners and our community.
Thank you to our mission partners that launched into action and to all who got the word out to find and rescue Mr Bee.
Thank goodness for a happy ending.
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