Sailor found clinging to capsized boat after almost two days missing at sea

A man who vanished at sea was found clinging to the bow of his capsized boat around 86 miles off the coast of Florida after almost two days at sea.

Stuart Bee had set off on his vessel from Cape Marina in Port Canaveral on Friday afternoon before it was crippled by mechanical problems on Saturday.

The 32-foot Sea Ray became disabled, leaving him drifting helplessly in the Atlantic Ocean.

Officials say he was woken abruptly sometime after midnight on Sunday “when water rushed into the forward cabin and pushed him out of the front hatch of the vessel”.

The missing sailor was rescued by the Angeles motorised vessel. Pic: US Coast Guard Southeast
Image:The missing sailor was rescued by the Angeles motorised vessel. Pic: US Coast Guard Southeast

He was left stranded in the sea for hours in the dark, hanging on to last part of his boat that was still above water.

But the US Coast Guard said that as conditions became lighter, he eventually spotted another vessel and began desperately trying to flag it down.

“After sunrise he noticed the motor vessel Angeles in the distance, removed his shirt and began waving to gain the attention of the crew,” a spokesperson said.

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Images show him clambering aboard the boat, before the crew responded to an “Enhanced Group Calling” message to say they had located the missing man.

Captain Mark Vlaun, commanding officer of US Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville, hailed those involved in the rescue.

“Saving lives at sea is our highest calling,” he said.

“This is a truly incredible outcome that demonstrates the bond among all mariners and our community.

“Thank you to our mission partners that launch into action and to all who got the word out to find and rescue Mr Bee.”

A US Coast Guard spokesperson added: “Thank you to all mariners who were on the lookout and especially the motor vessel Angeles for rescuing Mr Bee.”

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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