“It Seemed Like a Lot Longer”: Man Recounts 66-Day Ordeal Lost at Sea

A man who was missing at sea for 66 days said he was on a fishing trip when disaster struck and his boat capsized, causing him to fly through the air and somersault.

Louis Jordan, 37, had been living on his sailboat at a marina in Conway, South Carolina, until January, when he told his family he was "going into the open water to sail and do some fishing," said his mother, Norma Davis. He sailed out of the marina on Jan. 23, Coast Guard officials said, and had not been heard from him since.

"I was planning on catching some big ones," Jordan said in an interview with “Today."  "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."

The crew of a German-flagged container ship found Jordan floating Thursday afternoon on the overturned hull of his sailboat, about 200 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras.

Jordan explained to "Today" that he was injured when the boat capsized.

"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," Jordan said. "We're all just turning around together and I land against the wall and I break my shoulder."

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

Jordan previously told the coast guard that he ate fish he caught to survive.

Records show that Jordan sailed out of the marina in Conway, on Jan. 23, aboard the sailboat Angel, said Marilyn Fajardo, a spokeswoman for the Coast Guard's 7th District. Fajardo said the Coast Guard in Miami was notified by his father, Frank Jordan, on Jan. 29 that he hadn't seen or heard from his son in a week. One week later, Davis said their son was still missing.

Fajardo said alerts were issued from New Jersey to Miami to be on the lookout for Jordan and his sailboat. Officials also searched financial data to determine whether Jordan actually had come ashore without being noticed, but found no indication that he had, she said.

A search was begun on Feb. 8, but Fajardo said the Coast Guard abandoned its efforts after 10 days. Despite reports from other sailors claiming to have seen Jordan's sailboat, none of the sightings were confirmed and the case was suspended. 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 Fajardo said there wasn't enough information to narrow down his whereabouts.

"We're elated that he survived. We were never able to determine where he was headed," Doss said. "Without that as part of the equation, it was difficult to come up with a search area."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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