Container ship makes 'truly incredible' discovery floating at sea

Nick Whigham
·Assistant News Editor
·2-min read

Stuart Bee, 62, is counting his lucky stars after a remarkable sea rescue.

The Florida man is fortunate to be alive after he was stranded at sea nearly 140 kilometres off the coast of Port Canaveral, one of the busiest shipping ports in the world.

Mr Bee set off on his 32-foot (9.75-metre) boat on Friday afternoon (local time) and was reported missing the following day when he failed to return home as it was very unusual for him to spend the night on the ocean.

As rescue teams searched for the 62-year-old boater, crew members aboard a 225-foot (69-metre) container ship named Angeles managed to spot him clinging to his capsized vessel on Sunday morning.

The 62-year-old Stuart Bee (left) on his capsized boat and (right) swimming to the rescuing ship.
The 62-year-old had been at sea for about 36 hours. Source: US Coast Guard

As the Angeles ship approached, Mr Bee removed his shirt and began frantically waving at the crew on board.

Coast Guard Officer David Micallef told local reporters the man’s boat became disabled at sea because of a mechanical problem and authorities had put out a broad call to all ships in the area.

A US Border Patrol plane was also dispatched to search for the man.

“It’s an amazing story. We’re just very thankful for the motor vessel Angeles and their entire crew for keeping a sharp lookout,” he said.

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

Stuart Bee boarding container ship Angeles after being stranded at sea.
Stuart Bee was rescued by passing container ship Angeles. Source: US Coast Guard

The US Coast Guard shared incredible pictures of the fortuitous rescue on Twitter on Sunday.

“The crew spotted the man clinging to the bow of the vessel and took him aboard and will transport him to shore,” it wrote.

Captain Mark Vlaun, commander of Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville, described the moment captured in the photos as a “truly incredible” outcome.

“Saving lives at sea is our highest calling,” he said in a press release.

“This is a truly incredible outcome that demonstrates the bond among all mariners and our community.”

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