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.
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.