A South Carolina man who was missing-at-sea for 66 days has sensationally been rescued by a German ship. Louis Jordan, 36, was first reported missing by his family on January 29. He was rescued at around 1:30 p.m. on April 2 by the cargo ship the Houston Express. Shortly after setting out from a marina to go fishing in South Carolina, Jordan’s 1950s sailing boat capsized. This left him stranded alone in the treacherous Atlantic Ocean battling dehydration, the sun and isolation.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Survived by Catching & Eating Raw Fish
The Charlotte News Observer reports that Jordan survived by catching and eating raw fish as well as collecting rain water to drink. In an interview with ABC News, Jordan said the rainwater tasted like coconut milk. His vessel, the Angel, capsized on January 29, leaving him stranded. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss told the Associated Press that they don’t know exactly where he capsized.
2. The Coast Guard Picked Him Up 2 Hours After His Rescue
After being taken on board the German ship, an emergency call was made to the U.S. Coast Guard. A Jayhawk chopper showed up at 3:40 p.m., just over two hours after his initial rescue, to take Jordan to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia, says the U.S. Coast Guard. Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyle McCollum, who helped to rescue Jordan told the Associated Press, “He walked over to me as soon as I landed on deck and had a small smile on his face. My initial impression of him was he was in pretty good health…We were expecting worse with blisters and severe sunburn and dehydration.”
You can watch video of the dramatic rescue above.
He was released from the facility less than 24 hours after being admitted. Jordan was suffering from a broken collarbone and dehydration.
3. The Official Search for Jordan Ended on February 12
After his father reported him missing on January 29, Jordan’s mother urged further action from the Coast Guard a week later. Eventually, according Ryan Doss, a Coast Guard spokesman, a search was underway across the East Coast of the United Sates with ships and aircraft, in addition to local bridge operators from Florida to New Jersey, all on the lookout for Jordan.
Doss said, “We don’t know where [Jordan] was going. Without the critical piece of information, a good portion of the Atlantic Ocean becomes your search area.” Jordan had set sail from the Wacamaw River on January 23, reports WRAL. According to Bill Mathus, the Operations Unit Controller with the Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads, the search for Jordan ended on February 12.
According to WRAL, Jordan’s boat was a 35-foot sailing Aalberg vessel called Angel. Aalberg’s are named for the designer, Carl Alberg, who died in 1986 having designed 47 different boats. Jeff Weeks, the manager of the Bucksport Plantation Marina, where Jordan’s boat was docked, told the Associated Press, “He is somewhat of a person who stays to himself. I consider him a gentle giant with a good personality. But he likes to be self-sufficient. Here at the marina, he liked to catch most all of the food that he’d eat. He would eat a lot of rice and fish. And he would know what berries and what mushrooms to pick. He was really knowledgeable on some survival skills.” In an interview with NBC News, Jordan described himself as an “inexperienced sailor.”
4. He Said the Experience Has Made Him Want to Have Children
In his interview with ABC News, Jordan said that he prayed regularly and read his bible during his time at sea. During a separate segment with WAVY-TV, Jordan said that he specifically asked God to send him rain. He added that the ordeal made him want to have children some day and that the idea that his friends and family might think he had “abandoned” was scary.
5. In January 2014, a Mexican Fisherman Was Found After Being Stranded for 13 Months
The 66 days that Jordan was missing is nothing compared with the 13 months that Mexican sailor Jose Salvador Avlarenga spent stranded between December 2012 to January 2014. He had set out on a shark-fishing expedition in his native country but was rescued more than 6,000 miles away near the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific.