Man reported missing at sea for 66 days: "I was just praying to God"

Apr 3, 2015 12:55 PM by CBS News, Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

A sailor purportedly stranded at sea for more than two months has been reunited with his family. Louis Jordan was suffering from dehydration and a shoulder injury and was taken to a Virginia hospital. Overnight, he was released and said strength and faith helped him survive, reports CBS News correspondent Vinita Nair.

The U.S. Coast Guard lifted him off a cargo ship that rescued him 200 miles east off the North Carolina coast. Crew members say they spotted Jordan sitting on the hull of his capsized boat. Jordan said he survived by eating raw fish and drinking rain water.

"I haven't had a lot of time on the water. I was just praying to God, 'please protect me,'" Jordan said.

He told authorities he set off in his sailboat, Angel, on January 23. A week later, his family reported him missing, and on February 8, the Coast Guard began a search. It was suspended after 10 days.

Jordan said he was asleep when a bad storm overturned his boat. He said the mast had broken and his electronic equipment was damaged.

"I rationed my food and water and I rationed my energy because every little thing I did, every cleaning chore, every sailing chore, every repair took energy and that means food and water," Jordan said.

After he was pulled from the water, he was able to contact his family.

"I'm so glad that you're alive, we prayed and prayed and we hoped that you were still alive," his father said on the phone.

"We are so happy the motor vessel was able to find him, we are so happy to reunite him with his family," Coast Guard Lieutenant Krystyn Pecora said.

The Coast Guard said in their initial search, there wasn't enough information to locate Jordan because he didn't file a "float plan," the nautical equivalent of a flight plan, showing his route and destination. The Coast Guard said by the day of his rescue, he had traveled roughly 500 miles from home.


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