62-year-old missing boater rescued 86 miles off the coast of Florida
“I’m in disbelief. I can’t believe that they found him.”
A 62-year-old man is grateful to be alive after he was miraculously rescued 86 miles off the coast of Florida on Sunday.
Stuart Bee was found dehydrated and exhausted while still clinging to a tiny portion of his 32-foot vessel when a container ship happened to spot him in the distance.
The Coast Guard had been searching for Bee since he was reported missing on Saturday. Bee had left Cape Marina on Friday, but the person who reported him missing, expressed worry as Bee typically doesn’t stay out at sea overnight.
Mark Vlaun, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville in Florida, had never witnessed a rescue like this one.
“That is the first time I’ve seen anything like that my 27 years of doing this. That is a truly extraordinary case, Vlaun today Today.
Bee said that he was unsure how the boat sank as it started to take on water while he was asleep. He had emergency equipment onboard that would help him send a distress signal, but it was already underwater, and he couldn’t get to it.
“Three times I tried to hold my breath and swim down and get it but I couldn’t reach it,” he said.
The miraculous rescue has left Bee’s family grateful for his return.
“The first thing he said was, ‘You’re never going to guess what happened to me,'” his niece, Leisa Bee, said. “I’m in disbelief. I can’t believe that they found him.”
Images were released by the Coast Guard which showed Bee swimming away from his sinking vessel and toward a life ring. Another image showed the soaking-wet boater climbing aboard the container ship.