Man lost at sea for 2 months caught fish, collected rainwater

Man reportedly lost at sea for 60 days was located 200 miles off North Carolina coast

A man who was reported missing at sea for about two months was rescued from his crippled boat approximately 200 miles off North Carolina on Thursday afternoon, according to authorities.

Louis Jordan, 37, sailing a vessel named Angel, was reported missing by family Jan. 29, according to a news release from the Coast Guard 5th District Command Center in Portsmouth, Va.

According to Coast Guard spokeswoman Lt. Krystyn Pecora, Jordan had been traveling north when he decided to head offshore to go fishing. Somewhere along the way, he got caught in rough weather, and the boat's mast was broken and its electronic system damaged, Pecora said at a news conference Thursday night.

His boat severely damaged, Jordan was adrift, and the vessel capsized three times, he told NBC News. "I was flying through the air, somersaulting and everything was upside down and backwards," he said.

He survived by eating some food he had on board, fishing with a net and collecting rainwater, Pecora said.

Speaking at a hospital in Norfolk, Va., Jordan told WAVY.com early Friday that  “I rationed my water to where I had drunk about a pint a day. For such a long a time I was so thirsty. And I was almost out of water, and everyday I was like, 'Please God, send me some rain, send me some water,'" he said. "And finally, right before I ran out of water, finally the conditions were perfect."

He read the Bible repeatedly, cover to cover, he told NBC News, and missed barbecue and organic ice cream the most.

The Coast Guard received a notification around 1:30 p.m. Thursday from a ship, the Houston Express, that Jordan and his disabled boat had been spotted about 200 miles east of Cape Hatteras, N.C. The Houston Express took Jordan aboard, according to the release.

In an interview with NBC News Friday, Jordan described the moment the ship's crew saw him.

"They saw me on the front of my boat, standing up there waving my arms, and they turned that huge skyscraper around," he told the network.

A Jayhawk helicopter picked up Jordan and flew him to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital around 7:30 p.m. Jordan refused treatment at the hospital, Dale Gauding, a spokesman for Sentara Healthcare, told The Times. He left the hospital with his parents around 2 a.m. Friday, Gauding said.

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FOR THE RECORD

April 3, 8:46 a.m.: An earlier version of this post misspelled the name of Sentara Healthcare spokesman Dale Gauding as Gaulding.

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Pecora said Jordan had a shoulder injury, the AP reported. His father, Frank Jordan, said his son also was dehydrated. Gauding said Jordan was in good condition, and upon arrival at the hospital, he walked off the helicopter without assistance.

Jordan spoke to his father by phone after he was rescued. (Listen to the call here)

"I haven't heard you in so long," Louis told his father. "I was afraid that you guys were crying and sad that, you know, I was dead, and I wasn't dead," he told his father.

"We were," the elder Jordan replied. "I thought I lost you."

When Louis apologized for not being able to sail back with the boat and called it "such a big loss," his father protested.

"We prayed and prayed and we hoped that you were still alive, so that's all that matters," Frank Jordan said.

Minutes later, he thanked the captain of the Houston Express for saving his son. "You're a good man, I swear," Frank told the captain. "This is a beautiful world."

Asked whether he would sail again, Louis told NBC News, "I don't know."

Staff writer Julie Westfall contributed to this report. 

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

8:49 a.m.: This article was updated with quotes from Jordan's phone call with his father, and more information from a hospital spokesman and Jordan's interview with NBC News.

6:28 a.m. This article was updated with more information from Jordan's interview with WAVY.com

April 3, 1:17 a.m.: This article was updated with details on Jordan's condition.

This article was first posted at 9:17 p.m.

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