VIDEO: Man rescued after 66 days at sea survived by catching fish with bare hands

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. — After 66 days at sea, a man was rescued from his disabled boat by a passing ship Thursday, authorities said.

In this story

  • Louis Jordan tells father in phone call he worried that they thought he was dead
  • He says he tried to fix his boat but couldn't sail it back
  • Raw fish and rainwater were his sustenance, he says, says Coast Guard spokeswoman

Louis Jordan, 37, was reported missing January 29. He was spotted Thursday afternoon by the Houston Express about 200 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The ship’s crew took him aboard and later a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter picked him up to take him to a hospital.

CNN affiliate WAVY in Norfolk, Virginia, reported that Jordan was able to walk from the helicopter into Sentara Norfolk General Hospital at about 7:30 p.m.

Jordan told his father, Francis, by phone that he survived by catching fish with his hands and eating them raw, Lt. Krystyn Pecora of the Coast Guard said. He used his hands to cup and drink rain water.

In an audio clip released by the Coast Guard, the father asks the son how he is feeling.

“I’m doing fine now,” Louis Jordan says.

The son tells the father he couldn’t fix the boat and sail it back to South Carolina, where he departed in January.

He tells his father he worried everyday that his parents were crying, thinking he was dead.

“We were. I thought I lost you,” the father says.

Francis Jordan says he will meet his son at the hospital and his mother will be there too.

The father then thanks the captain of the Houston Express.

“You’re a good man, I swear. You did what you are supposed to do and I sure do appreciate it,” he says. “And I know my son appreciates it.”


Audio from the first contact in 66 days between Frank Jordan and his son, missing sailor Louis Jordan, Thursday, April 2, 2015:


Audio of Frank Jordan thanking the captain of a motor vessel Thursday, April 2, 2015, for spotting and taking aboard his son who had been missing for 66 days:

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