Missing Florida Boater Found Alive After His Vessel Capsized 86 Miles Offshore

@USCGSoutheast via Twitter

While 2020 has been a year full of unusual news that sometimes ends in tragedy, there is still good news out there. There are heroes among us, and we have recently found out about several amazing rescues.

At 4pm on Friday November 27th, a 62 year old man named Stuart Bee boarded his boat and left Cape Marina at Port Canaveral, Florida. The next day, shortly before noon, he was reported missing. A marina member told the Coast Guard that Bee usually doesn’t stay out on his boat overnight. Thus, the search began.

The U.S. Coast Guard searched for Bee. The C-130 Hercules aircraft crew was even recruited for the search. The Coast Guard also put out “an enhanced group call” requesting mariners to be on the lookout for Bee’s boat and to let the Coast Guard know if they found anything that could help the search.

Sunday morning, a 225-foot container ship called the Angeles, which sails under the Liberia flag, was traveling from Guatemala to Delaware. The crew spotted Bee clinging to his capsized boat. He was about 86 miles east of Port Canaveral, where his voyage started. The crew rescued Bee around 11am.


Although the Coast Guard didn’t know Bee was in trouble until late Saturday morning, Bee first realized he needed help about 12 hours earlier around midnight. He had fallen asleep and woke up to find that water was entering his boat. Not only that, but the boat was stuck at sea due to a mechanical error. He had no way to get home. He spent all of Saturday clinging to his capsized boat. Sunday morning, when he saw the Angeles, he took off his shirt and waved it in the air to get the crew’s attention.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class David Micallef told USA Today, “It’s an amazing story. We’re just very thankful for the motor vessel Angeles and their entire crew for keeping a sharp lookout, and we’re just very thankful, especially during this holiday season, that we can bring this man home to his family.”

In a news release, Capt. Mark Vlaun, commanding officer of Sector Jacksonville explained, “Saving lives at sea is our highest calling. This is a truly incredible outcome that demonstrates the bond among all mariners and our community. Thank you to our mission partners that launch into action and to all who got the word out to find and rescue Mr. Bee.”