Louis Jordan: Sixty-six days adrift

Published on April 3rd, 2015

by Charles Doane, Wavetrain
Lots of buzz right now on the InterWeb about this story: Louis Jordan, age 36 (or 7?), who was airlifted to shore by the Coast Guard Thursday (Apr 2) off a German-flagged container ship, M/V Houston Express, that found him adrift some 200 miles east of Cape Hatteras.

Many of the stories you find online state he was found atop his boat’s overturned hull, but this seems highly unlikely. No way could you cling to an upside-down full-keeled Pearson Alberg 35 for two months. No way could such a heavily ballasted boat with so little beam and so much deadrise in its hull stay inverted for very long. And no way could the boat stay inverted for much time without sinking.

The story that seems to make the most sense right now is that Jordan, a relatively inexperienced sailor who had been living aboard his boat Angel at the Bucksport Plantation Marina in Conway, South Carolina, and had routinely taken the boat out fishing in coastal waters, decided on January 23 to try his luck fishing offshore for a change.

About two days later Angel was capsized while Jordan was asleep below and lost her rig and suffered some sort of damage to her rudder. Jordan suffered a broken collar bone. Apparently he did at one point succeed in getting some sort of jury rig up, but was unable to make progress toward shore. Also, he was capsized two more times. We must assume the boat righted itself after each capsize.

Jordan has stated he lost his radio and electronics in the first capsize. Evidently he had no EPIRB. He survived while adrift first by closely rationing the food and water he already had aboard and then by catching rainwater and fish. He attracted fish by trailing his laundry off the boat and then scooped them up with a net. Full story.

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