North Carolina

Man missing at sea since January found off NC coast

Louis Jordan, second from left, walks from the Coast Guard helicopter to the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Va., after being found off the North Carolina coast, April 2, 2015. His family says he sailed out of a marina in Conway, S.C., on Jan. 23, and hadn't been heard from since.
Louis Jordan, second from left, walks from the Coast Guard helicopter to the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Va., after being found off the North Carolina coast, April 2, 2015. His family says he sailed out of a marina in Conway, S.C., on Jan. 23, and hadn't been heard from since. AP

A South Carolina man who was reported missing at sea in January was picked up by a German cargo ship off the North Carolina coast on Thursday.

The crew of the Houston Express reported finding the overturned 35-foot sailboat, Angel, at about 1:30 p.m. about 200 miles east of Cape Hatteras. On the boat’s hull was Louis Jordan, 37, whose family had reported him missing to the Coast Guard on Jan. 29.

A Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter crew from Elizabeth City flew to the Houston Express, hoisted Jordan aboard and took him to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia, according to the Coast Guard.

Jordan had an injured shoulder but had managed to keep himself fed during his months at sea, said Lt. Krystyn Pecora, spokeswoman for the Coast Guard Fifth District in Portsmouth, Va.

“From what he told us on the phone, he was catching fish and collecting rain water and drinking it,” Pecora said.

The Coast Guard still needs to interview Jordan to find out what happened to him and the Angel, Pecora said.

Jordan had set sail from a marina on the Wacamaw River near Conway, S.C., said Ryan Doss, a spokesman for the Coast Guard Seventh District in Miami, Fla., which handled the initial search for him. Jordan’s father contacted the Coast Guard on Jan. 29 to say he had not heard from his son in a week and to ask if the Coast Guard had come across him, Doss said.

Jordan’s mother called a week later to say he was still missing and to ask for help finding him. In addition to alerting its own ships and aircraft, the Coast Guard began contacting marinas, bridge operators and refueling stations from Miami to New Jersey, asking people to keep an eye out for him, Doss said.

“We didn’t know where he was going,” he said. “Without that critical piece of information, a good portion of the Atlantic Ocean becomes your search area.”

The Coast Guard also began monitoring the use of Jordan’s credit card, cellphone and social media for clues about where he might be and encouraged his family to file a missing person’s report with police in case he showed up on land, Doss said.

But no one heard from him until Thursday, when the 1,085-foot container ship came upon his disabled sailboat.

Stradling: 919-829-4739;

Twitter: @RStradling

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