A sailor who’s been missing for more than 60 days was spotted off the coast of Cape Hatteras Thursday and brought to a Norfolk hospital.He was spotted and picked up by a commercial shipping vessel, who called the Coast Guard, who, in turn, sent a helicopter to pick him up.
Louis Jordan, 36, sat down with WAVY’s Liz Palka at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital just after 12 a.m. Friday. He said the more than two months he spent stranded on the 35-foot sailboat Angel felt much longer. The whole time he said he begged God for water, to send rain, and rationed his food and energy.
“I rationed my water to where I had drunk about a pint a day. For such a long a time, I was so thirsty. And I was almost out of water, and everyday I was like, ‘please, God, send me some rain, send me some water,’ begging God, ‘please.’ And finally, right before I ran out of water, finally the conditions were perfect,” Jordan said.
Back in the 1980's, on a trip aboard the R/V Knorr, I heard a story about how they picked up a drifting sailor, (and his boat), and kept him on board for two weeks until they reached port. No Coast Guard helicopter limousine service.
Jordan is from Conway, South Carolina, and calls himself an inexperienced sailor. Before Thursday, he was last seen January 23 with the Angel at Bucksport Marina, which is just south of Myrtle Beach. His family reported him missing to the Coast Guard January 29.It was good luck and good thinking that he survived. But there's no excuse for going offshore like that without an EPIRB or a PLB.
Jordan was on a fishing trip, headed north, when the Angel hit rough weather. He said he saw a wave crash into his window on the boat. He was flying through the air inside the cabin. Everything was upside down. The boat filled somewhat with water.
Jordan claims the boat capsized three times, but had a mechanism that automatically righted the boat. The sailboat lost its mast and all electronics on board became disabled. He ended up drifting. At some point, he said he broke his shoulder.
Jordan survived by rationing food he had on board, catching fish to eat with a net and collecting rain water to drink. Most of the time he spend inside the boat’s cabin.