A Florida man who had gone missing at sea was found clinging to his capsized boat on Sunday morning about 86 miles off Port Canaveral, officials said.
Some time after midnight Sunday, the man, Stuart Bee, was sleeping on his 32-foot Sea Ray, called the Sting Ray, when he was abruptly awakened by the water rushing into the forward cabin of the boat, the master said. First Class David Micallef. , spokesperson for the US Coast Guard.
The boat “filled with water almost immediately,” said master mariner Micallef, adding that the ship capsized quickly and the force of the water “pushed it out of the front hatch”.
For hours Mr Bee, 62, clung to four feet from the bow of the boat that was above the water. Then after sunrise, Mr. Bee noticed a ship in the distance, so he took off his shirt and started waving it to get the crew’s attention. He lost his glasses in the process.
Members of the crew of Angeles, a 225-meter Liberian container ship en route to Wilmington, Delaware, saw Mr. Bee at around 11 a.m. and got close enough to throw a used lifebuoy at him to pull him up a ladder to bring him aboard the ship. .
Rather than asking the Coast Guard to come pick him up, Mr Bee decided to stay aboard the Angeles, which is expected to arrive in Wilmington on Tuesday.
“He’s just excited to be alive,” said Master Petty Officer Micallef. “I think he’s in a good mood.”
Mr Bee left Cape Marina in Port Canaveral on Friday for what was supposed to be a short cruise on the water. He apparently decided to sleep the night on the boat, which was not typical, according to a marina employee. He was reported missing by the marina and his brother the next day, master petty officer Micallef said.
The Coast Guard and the United States Customs and Border Patrol both dispatched aircraft and asked area boats to keep watch on Mr. Bee.
After his first night on the water, Mr Bee told the Coast Guard, his boat was taken out of service after a mechanical failure on Saturday, which he tried and failed to repair himself, a declared the master mariner Micallef. The Coast Guard did not receive any radio transmissions from him asking for help.
“This case, honestly, is an incredible result,” said Master Mariner Micallef. “I think this demonstrates the close ties the maritime community has with one another. We are grateful that he can soon be on dry land. “