PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – A sailor who’s been missing for more than 60 days was spotted off the coast of Cape Hatteras Thursday and brought to a Norfolk hospital.
Louis Jordan, 36, sat down with reporters at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital just after 12 a.m. Friday. He said the more than two months he spent stranded on the 35-foot sailboat Angel felt much longer. The whole time he said he begged God for water, to send rain, and rationed his food and energy.
Around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, the German container ship Houston Express contacted Coast Guard watchstanders in Portsmouth, saying they had taken aboard a man from a disabled sailboat 200 miles off the coast.
Jordan described seeing the ship Thursday. At first, he said he didn’t believe it was real. He sent it signals, but they didn’t see him until he started waving his arms.
A Coast Guard helicopter crew left Elizabeth City around 3:40 p.m., met the Houston Express and hoisted the man onto the MH-60 Jayhawk.
Jordan is from Conway, South Carolina, and calls himself an inexperience sailor. Before Thursday, he was last seen January 23 with the Angel at Bucksport Marina, which is just south of Myrtle Beach. His family reported him missing to the Coast Guard January 29.
Jordan was traveling north when the Angel lost hit rough weather. He said he saw a wave crash into his window on the boat. He was flying through the air. Everything was upside down. The boat filled with water.
The boat capsized and lost its mast and all the electronics on board became disabled. Jordan said he thinks, at some point, he broke his shoulder.
Lt. Krystyn Pecora with Coast Guard in Portsmouth said Jordan survived by rationing food he had on board, catching fish to eat with a net and collecting rain water to drink.
Sentara spokesman Dale Gauding confirmed Jordan is in good condition. He and the Coast Guard crew arrived at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital around 7:30 p.m. WAVY News Liz Palka confirmed Jordan was able to walk into the hospital on his own.
His mother arrived at the hospital around 10 p.m. and his father was expected later Thursday evening.
WAVY.com received audio of Jordan talking to his father, Frank Jordan, for the first time after being rescued. They had not been in contact for more than two months.
“We prayed and we prayed, and we hoped that you were still alive,” Frank Jordan said to his son. “So, that’s all that matters. That’s the only thing that matters.”
“I was just praying about you, ’cause I was afraid that you guys were crying and sad that I was dead … and I wasn’t dead,” Louis Jordan replied.
“We were. I thought I lost you,” Frank Jordan said.