Man miss­ing for 66 days found by US Coast Guard

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY TOM FORE­MAN JR. AND EMERY P. DALE­SIO

A man whose fam­ily re­ported him miss­ing at sea more than two months ago was found float­ing on the over­turned hull of his sail­boat 300 kilo­me­ters off the North Carolina coast on Thurs­day, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Coast Guard of­fi­cials in Portsmouth, Vir­ginia, said they re­ceived word from a Ger­man con­tainer ship about 1:30 p.m. in­di­cat­ing they spot­ted a man and his sail­boat ap­prox­i­mately 200 miles east of Cape Hat­teras.

A Coast Guard he­li­copter crew from North Carolina flew to the ship and air­lifted Louis Jor­dan to a hos­pi­tal in Nor­folk, Vir­ginia, said Lt. Krystyn Pec­ora, a spokes­woman for the Coast Guard’s 5th Dis­trict of­fice. She said Jor­dan, 37, had a shoul­der in­jury, but she did not have any ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion about his con­di­tion.

Chief Petty Of­fi­cer Ryan Doss said Jor­dan’s 10-me­ter sail­boat had lost its mast and cap­sized. The tanker crew said it found Jor­dan sit­ting on the hull.

Doss said it was not known where or how long the boat had been cap­sized, but said Jor­dan told them he ate fish he caught to sur­vive.

“We won’t

re­ally know what hap­pened to him out there un­til we talk to him,” he said.

Jor­dan had been living on his docked sail­boat at the Buck­sport Plan­ta­tion Ma­rina in Con­way, South Carolina, un­til Jan­uary, when he told his fam­ily he was “go­ing into the open wa­ter to sail and do some fish­ing,” said his mother, Norma Davis, of Jack­sonville, North Carolina. The fam­ily had not heard from him since, she said.

“We ex­pected him to come back and he did not re­turn,” Davis said in a tele­phone in­ter­view. “We knew some­thing hap­pened. To us it’s just a mir­a­cle. We’re just so thrilled that he was found alive.”

Davis said Jor­dan’s fa­ther, her ex-hus­band Frank Jor­dan, spoke to their son af­ter he was re­cov­ered by the Coast Guard and that in ad­di­tion to in­jur­ing his shoul­der, he was de­hy­drated.

Jor­dan had spent months sand­ing and paint­ing his docked 1950s-era, sin­gle-masted sail­boat in Con­way, where ma­rina manager Jeff Weeks said he saw him nearly ev­ery day. Jor­dan was the only res­i­dent in a sec­tion of about 20 boats docked be­hind a coded se­cu­rity gate, Weeks said.

Jor­dan ap­peared to be knowl­edge­able about wild fruits and mush­rooms and fished for his meal in in­land wa­ter­ways, Weeks said. But his Jan­uary trip may have been his first time sail­ing in the open ocean.

Records show that Louis Jor­dan sailed out of the ma­rina in Con­way, on Jan. 23, aboard the sail­boat An­gel, said Mar­i­lyn Fa­jardo, a spokes­woman for the Coast Guard’s 7th Dis­trict. Fa­jardo said the Coast Guard in Miami was no­ti­fied by Frank Jor­dan on Jan. 29 that he hadn’t seen or heard from his son in a week. One week later, Davis con­firmed their son was still miss­ing.

A search was be­gun on Feb. 8, but Fa­jardo said the Coast Guard aban­doned its ef­forts af­ter 10 days. De­spite re­ports from other sailors claim­ing to have seen Jor­dan’s sail­boat, none of the sight­ings was con­firmed.

Davis said she is look­ing for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing her son’s re­turn.

“We do plan on hav­ing a won­der­ful Easter cel­e­bra­tion with fam­ily and I can’t wait to get him back,” she said.

AP

Louis Jor­dan, right, walks from the Coast Guard he­li­copter to the Sen­tara Nor­folk Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal in Nor­folk, Vir­ginia af­ter be­ing found off the North Carolina coast on Thurs­day, April 2.

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