By BENJAMIN STEIN and BILL HUTCHINSON, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — A 62-year-old Florida man, whose family reported him missing on Friday after he failed to return from a boating trip, was found alive on Sunday, clinging to the hull of his capsized vessel far off the coast of Florida, officials said.
The marooned mariner, Stuart Bee, was spotted Sunday by the crew of the 225-foot-container ship Angeles, holding on the hull of his boat in the Atlantic ocean about 86 miles off the coast of Port Canaveral, according to U.S. Coast Guard officials.
“It’s amazing. It’s 86 miles offshore,” U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Veronica Dunn-Depretis told ABC News of Bee’s survival, adding that he’s lucky to be alive.
She said Bee was not injured and that it was not immediately clear why his 32-foot pleasure boat, named the Sting Ray, capsized.
“He is OK. We’re receiving reports from the motor vessel (Angeles) that there were no medical concerns,” Dunn-Depretis said.
She said when Bee was located, he was holding on to about four-feet of the boat’s hull sticking out of the water.
“He was clinging to that when they came across him and they pulled him up on their vessel,” Dunn-Depretis said.
Bee’s ordeal began sometime after departing on Friday evening from the Port Canaveral Marina, Dunn-Depretis said. She said Bee was planning to only be out on the water for several hours.
When he failed to return, his family and officials at the Port Canaveral Marina contacted the Coast Guard.
Dunn-Depretis said a search was immediately launched and an emergency message was radioed to commercial ships far offshore to be on the lookout for Bee.
She said the Angeles was one of the vessels that began searching for Bee. She said the Angeles crew spotted Bee about 11:40 a.m. and pulled him out of harm’s way.
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