When Louis Jordan, 37, took his boat, “The Angel,” out “to do some fishing,” he planned to have a nice, brief trip, never dreaming he would be missing for over two months. He set out on Jan. 23 and was reported missing on Jan. 29. Searchers looked for him for ten days with no success, but last Thursday, a ship spotted him drifting off the North Carolina coast and contacted the Coast Guard.
The ship rescued him from his drifting boat. He was then picked up by a Coast Guard helicopter and taken to a hospital, where he was treated for dehydration and a shoulder injury before being released.
According to the Coast Guard, Jordan had neglected to file a “float plan,” which lists the route and destination a ship plans and would have enabled searchers to track him down sooner.
The manager of the marina where Jordan worked on his boat said Jordan probably wasn’t ready to sail on the open ocean. “He might sail up and down the Intercoastal Waterway, but he didn’t have the experience he needed to go out into the ocean,” Jeff Weeks, the manager, said.
Weeks remembered Jordan as a nice person to be around. “You’ll probably never meet a nicer guy,” Weeks said. “He is a quiet gentleman that most of the time keeps to himself. He’s polite. I would describe him as a gentle giant.” Jordan is 6’2” and weighed around 230 pounds before his ordeal.
Jordan described the accident, during which he suffered a broken collarbone. “My boat got flipped and did a 180 on me while I was sleeping at night, and I was flying through the air and somersaulting and all my junk and all my equipment, all my GPS devices and everything, even my stove dislodged and it was all flying with me, all rolling around,” he said.
During the ensuing 66-day ordeal, Jordan survived by collecting rainwater, frying pancakes, and catching fish with his clothes.
“Every ounce of energy, there was food. And I was limited on food,” he said.
Jordan said his faith helped him through the challenges he faced. He read his Bible and prayed, but his main concern was for his family and friends. “I was worried about them more than anything else,” he said.
His family was deeply concerned as well. “I’m so glad you’re alive,” Frank Jordan, Louis’ father, said to his son on the phone shortly after his rescue. “We prayed, and prayed, and hoped you were still alive. I thought I lost you.”
During the long wait, Frank Jordan had written a poem dedicated to his son. Part of the poem read, “life is not to be taken for granted, / no accident, experiment or joke.”
Jordan had told his family he was “going into the open water to sail and do some fishing,” said his mother, Norma Davis. “We expected him to come back and he did not return. We knew something happened. To us it’s just a miracle. We’re just so thrilled that he was found alive.”
“We do plan on having a wonderful Easter celebration with family and I can’t wait to get him back,” she said.
As for Jordan? He said he would like to have “organic ice cream” to celebrate his return.