Rescued sailor: 'I was just praying to God'

by Will Hall, |
A still image from U.S. Coast Guard video shows a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew medevacs Louis Jordan of South Carolina from motor vessel Houston Express off the North Carolina coast on April 2, 2015. The crew aboard Houston Express spotted Louis Jordan on a disabled sailing vessel and took him aboard approximately 200 miles east of Cape Hatteras. Jordan, rescued off the North Carolina coast after being missing at sea for 66 days, underwent medical evaluation and will meet with the U.S. Coast Guard to provide details of his ordeal, the Coast Guard said on Friday. | REUTERS/U.S. Coast Guard/Handout

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (Christian Examiner) -- A Coast Guard helicopter picked up Louis Jordan April 2 from a cargo ship, which had rescued him. Then the aircrew transported the weary sailor to Portsmouth, Virginia, where he expressed enormous relief.

"I was just praying to God, 'please protect me,'" to survive the 66-day ordeal, Jordan said after returning safely to land.

According to CBS News, he said he had not had much time on the water before the incident. But details about his disciplined approach to survival appear to belie his claimed inexperience at sea.

Vinita Nair reported Jordan rationed his food and water as well as his energy, "because every little thing I did, every cleaning chore, every sailing chore, every repair took energy and that means food and water," he said.

He limited his water intake to about a pint a day, praying daily, "'Please God, send me some rain, send me some water," he told WAVY TV in Portsmouth.

The Associated Press added that Jordan supplemented his limited supplies using a bucket to catch rainwater, and by netting fish that swam in and out of his clothes when he left them to rinse over the side. He still lost about 90 pounds, according the captain of the ship that found him.

Multiple sources noted he had set out Jan. 23 from a marina in Conway, South Carolina, to spend some time sailing and fishing. When he was picked up 200 miles off the coast of North Carolina, the mast on his boat was missing and the vessel appeared to have flipped over, having sailed and drifted a combined 500 miles.

CBS News reported Jordan did not have to wait to make it back to land in order to call his family. His rescue ship managed to connect him with his father at home shortly after bringing Jordan aboard.

As might be imagined, he was elated his son finally had been found.

"I'm so glad that you're alive," his father said during the call. "We prayed and prayed and we hoped that you were still alive."