Containership rescues missing mariner 86 miles off Florida

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(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — A missing mariner was rescued approximately 86 miles east of Port Canaveral, Fla., on Sunday by the containership Angeles.

Crew on the 738-foot ship located Stuart Bee, 63, on the hull of his 34-foot Sea Ray and took him aboard at approximately 11 a.m. after he was reported missing Nov. 28. Bee departed Cape Marina in Port Canaveral on Nov. 27 and did not return.

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Stuart Bee climbs aboard Angeles after swimming to the ship from his overturned boat on Sunday. U.S. Coast Guard

Watch standers at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville received an initial report of the missing man at 11:40 a.m. Saturday from a member at Cape Marina stating Bee typically does not stay out overnight on his boat.

Watch standers dispatched a C-130 Hercules air crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater to respond and directed Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral watch standers to issue preliminary and extended communications in an effort to locate the missing man.

The 7th District Coast Guard command center issued an enhanced group calling to mariners located in the vicinity of the search area to keep a lookout for the vessel and report any findings to the Coast Guard.

A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol air marine asset also assisted in the search.

Receiving the alert, the Angeles’ crew lookout spotted Bee clinging to the bow of his boat at approximately 10 a.m. and brought him aboard at about 11 a.m. The crew reported Bee was safe and had no medical concerns.

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

The Liberia-flagged Angeles was en route to Wilmington, Del., from Puerto Cortes, Honduras when it located the mariner.

Bee is in contact with his brother who will assist in bringing him home once in Delaware.

“The chances of finding Bee alive were slim,” said Lt. Shawn Antonelli, command duty officer, 7th District. “But he was able to stay with his boat, which helped save his life.”

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Professional Mariner Staff