The man who was found clinging to his capsized boat off the coast of Florida is safely back on shore with a story to tell.
Stuart Bee, 62, was reported missing Saturday and was found clinging to his boat 86 miles from shore.
He returned to land via a Chiquita banana boat that was traveling to the states from Honduras. He met reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, when it finally docked on Tuesday.
Bee said that he was stargazing Saturday night when he fell asleep. The next thing he knew his boat was taking on water.
“There is no one around and I thought about what I could do to get help,” he said. “I hung on to a floating cushion, and fortunately the boat did not sink…I hung on to the cushion and the boat.”
Bee said that he tried to retrieve the emergency kit from his boat three or four times by diving down into the water, but was unsuccessful. He was prepared to keep trying when he spotted the boat, the Angeles, in the distance.
“I took my shirt off and waved it several times and I continued to do that until about 45 minutes later until the boat was close enough,” he said.
He said he felt a sense of relief when he realized the boat was coming for him.
“The entire crew had a sense of joy that they found me, and for me it went from major concern to a feeling of relief and calmness… this is not going to turn out bad after all,” he said.
When asked how the crew treated him, he said it was “better than a cruise ship.”
“The nicest people ever,” Bee said. “They kept feeding me.”
After docking, Bee was picked up by the Seamen’s Center of Wilmington who will help get back home.