Last Friday, Bee and his pleasure boat of 32-foot, Sting Ray, went missing from Port Canaveral Marina in Florida; he suddenly became a missing boater needing intensive search and rescue.
Early in the trip, Bee experienced some trouble with the engine. He didn’t bother to request help because he checked the problem and discovered it’s is something he’ll easily fix. He’d fallen asleep Sunday night after tinkering with the motor, only to be awakened by a gush of water flooding the cabin that pushed him up toward the bow and out through the front hatch as the stern sank.
Despite being an experienced sailor, this missing boater knew he was in a deep mess. Once the Sting Ray stabilized, he made several dives back inside to try to retrieve his personal locator beacon, to no avail. Unsure how much longer he’d be able to hang on, just after sunrise, Bee was preparing to make another attempt when he caught sight of a cargo freighter—aptly named the Angeles.
By turning his shirt into a flag, Bee was able to get the attention of the watch crew. After the Angeles’ pulled as close as possible, a flotation device was dispatched to reel him in. The crew then used a ladder to haul Bee on board.
The captain of the Angeles confirmed in a satellite call with the Coast Guard: “We just rescued one person from a capsizing boat at sea. Bee. Stuart Bee.”
In an interview with the New York Times. spokesperson for the U.S. Coast Guard, Petty Officer First Class David Micallef said:
This case, honestly, it’s an incredible outcome. I think it demonstrates the strong ties that the maritime community has with one another. We’re thankful that he’s going to be able to be on dry land soon.David Micallef
After confirming Bee’s identity, the Coast Guard search was disbanded. Bee opted to remain aboard the Angeles until its next scheduled stop in Wilmington, Delaware, where the Liberian container ship was set to deliver a cargo of bananas.