’The entire crew had a sense of joy:’ Florida man describes moment he was rescued from capsized boat

Stuart Bee was stranded alone at sea roughly 86 miles offshore of Port Canaveral

WILMINGTON, Del. – A Florida man who went missing for days and was found clinging to his capsized boat is now back on land.

Stuart Bee, 62, docked at the Port of Wilmington in Delaware Tuesday afternoon. Bee was first reported missing Saturday, after leaving Port Canaveral. Fortunately, crew members aboard the 225-foot container ship Angeles spotted Bee and rescued him Sunday morning, according to the U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class David Micallef said.

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News 6 partner Florida Today reported that rescuers found Bee around 86 miles off the Space Coast, clinging to his 32-foot Sea Ray. Bee said it felt like a long two days at sea as he hoped for help.

“I was out there stargazing,” he said Tuesday to reporters. “Fortunately the boat did not sink -- but I didn’t know if it was going to.”

[RELATED: Crews rescue missing man clinging to capsized boat 86 miles off Port Canaveral]

Bee said he had a lot of patience as he held on to his vessel but he felt the longest minutes were when he spotted the Angeles.

“Fifteen minutes went by and it seemed to be getting closer,” he said. After about half an hour, he mustered newfound hope.

“I took off my shirt, waved several times and waited,” focusing on the power of patience, he said.

The U.S. Coast Guard spotted and rescued Stuart Bee on Sunday after he went missing late Friday afternoon. (Copyright 2020 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

The ship eventually edged closer, with the crew ready to hoist him aboard.

“The entire crew had a sense of joy,” Bee said. “For me, it went from major concern to suddenly, a feeling of relief.”

Bee said being on the container ship was better than being on a cruise. He says the crew took good care of him and fed him well, but he’s happy to be back on land.

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