BBC News

Missing Florida sailor found clinging to capsized vessel

Published
image copyrightUS Coast Guard/Jacksonville
image captionStuart Bee, 62, was rescued by a passing container ship 86 miles (138km) off the Florida coast on Sunday

A sailor who was reported missing at sea over the weekend has been recovered after he was spotted clinging to his capsized vessel off the Florida coast.

Stuart Bee, 62, set sail on Friday afternoon from Cape Marina at Port Canaveral on his 10m (32ft)-long boat.

Authorities were alerted on Saturday, after he failed to return to port.

He was discovered clutching part of his overturned boat by the crew of a passing container vessel, 86 miles (138km) off Cape Canaveral on Sunday.

The container ship, the Angeles, pulled Mr Bee from the water after throwing him a buoy, and then notified the US Coast Guard, which immediately deployed a crew to retrieve him.

image copyrightUS Coast Guard/Jacksonville
image captionMr Bee was pulled towards the vessel with a buoy, and then climbed on board using a rope ladder

Images of the moment Mr Bee was rescued showed how he held on to a small section of his overturned boat. which was protruding from the surface. Other images showed him climbing on board the Angeles container vessel.

"Saving lives at sea is our highest calling," said Capt Mark Vlaun, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville.

"This is a truly incredible outcome that demonstrates the bond among all mariners and our community," he added.

A spokesman for the US Coast Guard, David Micallef, told local media that Mr Bee, from Florida, had decided to spend a night or two on his boat, which was unusual for him. Unfortunately, he was awoken during the night on Saturday after water flooded his cabin.

His vessel quickly capsized, Mr Micallef said, and the water "pushed him out of the front hatch". He then clung to part of the boat's bow, and it was not until Sunday, after sunrise, that he spotted the container ship on the horizon.

You might also be interested in:

  • Sea rescue operation under way in Vendee
  • Elephant rescued from deep well in a 14-hour operation
  • Rocky the owl back in the wild after Rockefeller Christmas tree rescue
  • The moment a dog was rescued from an alligator's jaws
  • Paddleboarders rescued after 15 hours in the sea
media captionDramatic storm rescue as ship hits cliff in Italy

Related Topics

  • Florida
  • Sailing
  • United States