A man was clinging to his capsized boat and at the same time clinging to life when he was luckily in the same area of a passing container ship in the vast Atlantic Ocean. Despite drifting some 86 miles off Florida’s east coast, a boater was rescued by a wonderful chance of good fortune.
Stuart Bee departed the Cape Marina in Port Canaveral on Friday, November 27, in his 32-foot Sea Ray. When he didn’t return that night, his family notified the Coast Guard, which radioed an emergency message to commercial ships far offshore to be on the lookout for Bee.
#UPDATE: @USCG crews along with a CBP air asset are continuing to search for Stuart Bee, a 62 year-old man who departed from Cape Marina in #portcanaveral Nov. 27 at about 4 p.m.
Searching for a 32-foot Sea Ray, STINGRAY, FL5123HU.
Please call 904-714-7558 with any new info. pic.twitter.com/8UM99f67JV
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) November 29, 2020
“Watchstanders dispatched a C-130 Hercules aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater to respond and directed Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral watchstanders to issue preliminary and extended communications in an effort to locate the missing man,” according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
On Sunday at around 11 a.m., the crew of the 225-foot contained vessel named “Angeles” caught a glimpse of Bee.
Bee’s boat had capsized, and luckily for him, it did not sink completely. An incredible photo shows Bee clinging to the boat’s hull, which was sticking out of the water about 4 feet. The crew tossed an orange life ring to pull him to safety.
#MustSee: Stuart Bee is recovered by the 225-foot motor vessel, #Angeles. The crew spotted the man clinging to the bow of the vessel and took him aboard and will transport him to shore. #BREAKING
Photo credit: crew member aboard the m/v Angeles. pic.twitter.com/1MSKcVRYG5
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) November 30, 2020
“It’s amazing. It’s 86 miles offshore,” U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Veronica Dunn-Depretis told ABC News of Bee surviving the accident, adding that he’s lucky to be alive. It wasn’t confirmed how his boat capsized.
Incredibly, Bee was not injured. “He is OK. We’re receiving reports from the motor vessel (Angeles) that there were no medical concerns,” Dunn-Depretis said.
Lacruiser P. Relativo, a service provider mariner onboard the Angeles, shared a photo of him and the saved man.
“I choose to offer him my ‘lucky shirt.’ I could give him a new one but this 1 is my favorite,” Relativo tweeted. “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.”
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. pic.twitter.com/o4NfBJYG7v
— Lacruiser P. Relativo (@Lacruiser_Tives) November 30, 2020
Capt. Mark Vlaun, the commanding officer of the Coast Guard’s Jacksonville sector, said, “Saving lives at sea is our highest calling.”
“This is a truly incredible outcome that demonstrates the bond among all mariners and our community,” Vlaun said. “Thank you to our mission partners that launch into action and to all who got the word out to find and rescue Mr. Bee.”