Man rescued after 66 days at sea in capsized boat; survived on raw fish and rainwater

A man missing at sea and presumed dead was miraculously found alive off the North Carolina coast and tells a harrowing story of survival.

Louis Jordan, 37, was reported missing on Jan. 29 by his father a week after he went sailing alone.

Photo via Facebook
Photo via Facebook

He said his boat capsized on the way out to go fishing while he was sleeping.

According to Jordan’s account to Coast Guard officials he kept himself alive by rationing the food he brought for the trip, catching and eating fish and drinking rainwater.

“I had tried to collect (rain) water, but every time the waves would splash into the boat,” he told CNN. “The waves would put saltwater into my freshwater and it tasted bad.

“Finally the conditions were right. I filled up my water tank, which is 25 gallons,” he added. “I filled up a bucket.”

Photo via Facebook
Photo via Facebook

He said he was able to catch fish using his clothing as bait that the fish seemed to be attracted to and snatching them with a hand net.

He told reporters he was saved in the nick of time.

Jordan Rescued

“I was running out of water, drinking a pint a day for a very long time rationing that water,” he said. Almost out, almost out. Finally God answered my prayer right before I ran out of water.”

His first phone call following his rescue by the Coast Guard was recorded by CNN.

“I couldn’t fix it,” he told his father. “I couldn’t sail back with my boat. I’m so sorry.”

Louis Jordan

“Im so glad that you’re alive,” his father replied. “We prayed and prayed and we hoped that you were still alive.”

But Jordan’s concern was with his family.

“I was just praying about you because I was afraid that you guys were crying and sad that, you know, I was dead and I wasn’t dead,” he said.

A German cargo ship spotted him on the overturned hull of his sailboat Thursday and came to the rescue.

“They saw me on the front of my boat standing up there waving my arms,” Jordan told the Today show Friday. “And they turned that huge skyscraper around.”

The Coast Guard swooped in to perform a dramatic aerial rescue lifting him from the cargo ship to the helicopter waiting to take him back to shore.

Now he has the greatest fish story to tell ever.


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