A sailor who went missing off Port Canaveral on Florida’s east coast was found alive almost two days later clinging to his capsized motorboat some 86 miles from shore.
The U.S. Coast Guard say 62-year-old boater, Stuart Bee, went missing in his 32-foot boat after setting out at 4pm on Friday afternoon.
His family raised the alarm when he did not return from his trip, saying it was unusual for him to stay on the water overnight.
The Coastguard ran patrols and even sent a Hercules C-130 aircraft to join the search.
On Sunday morning, the crew of a passing 225-foot container ship named Angeles spotted him clinging to the bow of his recreational boat, Stingray, which had capsized.
The crew rescued him from the water and brought him back to shore.
He had been at sea for almost two straight days by the time he was found on Sunday morning at 11am.
Stuart Bee, 62, climbs aboard the Angeles container ship after being found 86 miles from shore
Bee can be seen clinging to the bow of his sunken boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean
Bee is thrown a life ring as he swims towards a passing container ship, the Angeles
A container ship, the Angeles, pictured, came across Bee during the course of its voyage
Bee departed Cape Marina in Port Canaveral on Friday at 4pm.
Although he did not tell family members when he would be back specifically, they found it unusual that he did not return home, telling the Coastguard that Bee never stays out on the water for more than 24 hours.
Bee’s vessel became disabled sometime on Saturday after suffering mechanical issues.
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.
Stuart Bee was rescued 86 miles east of Port Canaveral, Florida
Bee is given a helping hand moments after climbing up the steps of his rescue ship
After sunrise he noticed a container ship, the Angeles, in the distance, removed his shirt and began waving to gain the attention of the crew according to details released by the Coastguard.
Lacruiser P. Relativo, a merchant mariner, who was onboard the Angeles took a photo with Bee and gave him fresh clothes to wear.
‘I choose to offer him my ‘lucky shirt’. I could give him a new one but this 1 is my favorite. I wish him the same comfort this shirt has given me during those tiring job interviews. Just like him, I was lucky to get the job. He was lucky too that our course crossed near Atlantic,’ he wrote on Facebook.
Relativo explained: ‘I was awakened by a call with sense of urgency that we need to rescue someone. As merchant mariners, we were trained to the toughest degree of distress that can possibly happen at sea.
‘However, the actual scene often different. After careful maneuvers, we successfully rescued Mr. Stuart. Before I could start questioning, he first asked me “What day it is today?”, “November 29!”, I responded.
‘By the look on his face, I saw his teary eyes as he made sign of the cross. He was drifted in the open sea for days, maintaining his stance at the top of his capsized boat, to not make any single move as it may trigger his yacht to sink fully.’
Lacruiser P. Relativo, a merchant mariner, right, who was onboard the Angeles container ship took a photo with Bee and gave him fresh clothes to wear
Bee’s boat, Stingray, ran into difficulties on the open water and then ended up capsizing
A C-130 Hercules aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater had joined the search and rescue effort after Bee did not return home.
A further call was also made to any mariners located in the area to keep a lookout for Bee’s vessel and the man himself.
‘Saving lives at sea is our highest calling. This is a truly incredible outcome that demonstrates the bond among all mariners and our community,’ said Capt. Mark Vlaun, commanding officer of Sector Jacksonville.
‘Thank you to our mission partners that launched into action and to all who got the word out to find and rescue Mr. Bee’
Bee set off in his 32ft boat for the open water off Florida on Friday. Pictured here in better times
When he didn’t return by nightfall his family raised the alarm knowing he would never usually stay out on the open ocean overnight
The Coastguard ran patrols and even sent a Hercules C-130 aircraft to search for him, pictured