Louis Jordan, 37, was rescued by the Coast Guard 200 miles off the North Carolina coast after 66 days at sea.
The South Carolina native had been living on his sailboat when he set off on January 23 to “sail and do some fishing,” but didn’t return, USA Today reported. His family reported him missing a week later.
“I had many moments where I thought I was going to die,” Jordan told USA Today.
Jordan’s 35-foot sailboat was dismasted and capsized; it’s unclear exactly how. He survived by collecting rainwater and catching fish with a net, Lieutenant Krystyn Pecora, a Coast Guard spokesperson, told USA Today.
A German container ship spotted the wreck on Thursday about 200 miles east of Cape Hatteras. A Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter met the container ship and took Jordan to a hospital in Virginia. He was not injured.
Jordan had never sailed in the open ocean before and didn’t have a route or a destination. Without a float plan, the Coast Guard couldn’t narrow down his location and abandoned its initial search after 10 days.
“I just feel like all of our prayers have come true,” Jordan’s mother told USA Today. “They’ve been answered.”