Man rescued at sea defends story; says he avoided sunburn and blisters

The man rescued from a disabled sailboat off the North Carolina coast is responding to critics of his story, explaining that he avoided sunburn and blisters by staying in the vessel's cabin and that he survived by rationing food and water.

Louis Jordan's statement, issued Monday, says he stayed inside the cabin to keep dry and avoid sun, wind, waves and sea spray.

Jordan also says he set up a makeshift mast with a small sail to get the boat headed in a westward direction.

He says he rationed food and water and kept his calorie expenditure low.

Jordan was spotted by a German-flagged boat Thursday, more than two months after leaving from South Carolina. Coast Guard crew members who retrieved him said they were surprised by his appearance and overall health.

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The man who spent 66 days lost at sea is now resting at his mother's home in Jacksonville.

Louis Jordan and his mother, Norma Davis, arrived from Norfolk this afternoon.

The 37-year-old was released from a Norfolk hospital this morning, a day after his amazing rescue off Cape Hatteras.

The Coast Guard says a German container ship spotted Jordan and his 35-foot sailboat around 1:30 p.m Thursday.

Jordan lives in Conway, South Carolina, while his mother resides in Onslow County.

"I feel blessed and I feel full of love and feel grateful to be with my family and with family again," Jordan said. "I feel grateful to have the opportunity to live to do what I want to do, which is to produce some sort of fruit in my life something valuable, something to make the world a better place"

The self-described "inexperienced sailor" said he was headed to the Gulf Stream — "where a lot of fish are" — when disaster struck.

"I was planning on catching some big ones," Jordan recalled. "On the way there, my boat capsized. I was actually sleeping, that's when it happened. The whole boat had turned around and I was flying through the air somersaulting and the ceiling was the floor and the floor was the ceiling and this side was the other side and everything was upside down and backwards."

He added: "I was just rolling around with all the things, all the objects, all my possessions and electronics and GPS and even my stove had come off of the wall and was flying in the air with me. We're all just turning around together and I land against the wall and I break my shoulder."

The storm broke his boat's mast and damaged his communication gear. Jordan said he prayed to God to protect him after encountering the bad weather and "huge waves."

He added that "it seemed like a lot longer" than the 66 days he was missing.

Jordan's mother said she got a text message with the rescue news. "It was amazing, I just couldn't contain my excitement," said Norma Davis.

The Coast Guard said Jordan didn't file a "float plan," the nautical equivalent of a flight plan, to determine his route or destination, and said there wasn't enough information to narrow down his whereabouts.

Officials also searched financial data to determine whether Jordan actually had come ashore without being noticed, but found no indication that he had, according to the Coast Guard.

Asked if he would ever sail again, Jordan said, "I don't know." His mother was asked if she'd ever let him sail again. "I don't know," said Davis. But with a smile she added, "Not in the ocean."


The U.S. Coast Guard says a man missing in the Atlantic Ocean for the past two months survived by drinking rain water and eating raw fish. He was found off Cape Hatteras this afternoon.

The Coast Guard says a German tanker ship spotted Louis Jordan and his 35-foot sailboat approximately 200 miles east of Cape Hatteras around 1:30 p.m.

The 37-year-old Jordan was reported missing by his father on January 29th.

"I was just praying about you because I was afraid you guys were crying and sad, that, you know, I was dead...and I wasn't dead," said Louis Jordan in a recorded conversation with his father following his rescue. Jodan's father responded, "I thought I lost you."

Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss from the Coast Guard in Miami tells WITN that Jordan had been surviving off of raw fish and rain water.

Doss says when the tanker found the man he was on the hull of his sailboat, which lost its mast. The chief says they do not yet know when the sailboat capsized.

According to NBC affiliate WAVY-TV, Jordan and the Coast Guard crew arrived at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital around 7:30 p.m.

WAVY reports that according to the hospital, Jordan is in good condition.

Chief Doss says if Jordan was in distress for the entire two months, then they have never known of a boater to survive such an ordeal.

Jordan was last seen in Conway, South Carolina on January 23rd. The Coast Guard says he told the harbormaster back in January that he was going out fishing.

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