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‘I had an incident’: Solo Florida boater who survived capsizing rescued by cargo crew 86 miles offshore

  • Author: Steve Patterson, The Florida Times-Union
  • Updated: December 2, 2020
  • Published December 2, 2020

In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, boater Stuart Bee, 62, who went missing Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, clings to the hull of his 32-foot capsized recreational vessel, approximately 86 miles east of Cape Canaveral, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, just before being rescued by the crew aboard the U.S. Coast Guard container ship Angeles. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

A Florida boater who had been missing since Friday was found alive Sunday clinging to his capsized vessel far offshore, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

Searchers had used Coast Guard vessels, a C-130 aircraft crew and a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol aircraft to look for Stuart Bee, 62. A repeating Coast Guard radio message alerted larger vessels along Florida’s coastline to watch for signs of his 32-foot Sea Ray.

Bee hadn’t been seen since he took his boat into the ocean near Port Canaveral in Brevard County about 4 p.m. Friday. He was reported missing Saturday.

Sunday morning, the 225-foot container ship M/V Angeles spotted Bee about 86 miles offshore clinging to the overturned boat, the Coast Guard reported on Facebook. The Liberian-flagged vessel had apparently been following a regular route from Guatemala to Wilmington, Del., according to data on the website vesselfinder.com.

In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, boater Stuart Bee, 62, who went missing Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, swims toward a life preserver as he is rescued by the crew aboard the U.S. Coast Guard container ship Angeles, after being found on the hull of his 32-foot capsized recreational vessel, approximately 86 miles east of Cape Canaveral, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)
In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, boater Stuart Bee, 62, who went missing Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, is rescued by the crew aboard the U.S. Coast Guard container ship Angeles, after being found on the hull of his 32-foot capsized recreational vessel, approximately 86 miles east of Cape Canaveral, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

Coast Guard crews were prepared to head to the Angeles to take Bee back to shore, the agency said, but he chose to stay on the cargo ship till it docked, according to Florida Today.

The Angeles with Bee aboard arrived at the port of Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday afternoon.

“I was out there stargazing,” Bee told Delaware Online. “It was beautiful. And I fell asleep and the water came gushing in, pushed me out to the front,” he said in an account of what happened.

“It’s an amazing story. We’re just very thankful for the motor vessel Angeles and their entire crew for keeping a sharp lookout,” U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class David Micallef told Florida Today.

“And we’re just very thankful, especially during this holiday season, that we can bring this man home to his family,” he said.

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