Missing Florida sailor rescued clinging to capsized boat 86 miles off coast

Guardian staff
·1-min read
<span>Photograph: Hoberman Collection/UIG via Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Hoberman Collection/UIG via Getty Images

A missing Florida sailor has been found clinging to his upturned boat, having survived a night at sea before being rescued 86 miles off the Florida coast by a passing container ship.

Stuart Bee, 62, left Cape Marina at Port Canaveral on Friday afternoon, aboard his 32ft vessel Sea Ray. He did not return and was reported missing on Saturday. A large air and sea mission was immediately launched.

It did not turn up any sign of the Sea Ray but vessels in a large area off Florida were told to keep an eye out for the missing mariner. One such ship, the Angeles, spotted the upturned Sea Ray, complete with Bee holding tightly to its prow, the only part of the capsized boat above water.

“It’s an amazing story,” PO1 David Micallef of the US Coast Guard told local news.

“We’re just very thankful for the motor vessel Angeles and their entire crew for keeping a sharp lookout. And we’re just very thankful, especially during this holiday season, that we can bring this man home to his family.”

Bee told media the Sea Ray developed mechanical issues before he was woken on Saturday night by a sudden rush of water into his cabin which pushed him outside.

He managed to get a hold on his stricken boat, he said, then held on until he was rescued.