Lost at Sea: Fisherman lives to tell the tale


Courtesy Tribune News Service

A Coast Guard patrol cutter, with rescue swimmers.

The journey of an amateur level fisherman teaches us the importance of survival skills and safety. Through great faith, a man was able to survive an unexpected adventure against the elements.

Could you survive two months in the wilderness? You might find yourself responding with an answer that is either along the lines of, “I’ve watched all 30 seasons of Survivor! Sure I can,” or ,”Heck, no! I can’t even navigate the terrors of modern day society!” Either way, we should all agree that to live among the trees and beasts of the Earth takes both skill, and great perseverance.

35 year-old Louis Jordan, found himself not battling rabid animals or scrounging the land for mushrooms and tea leaves to supplement as meals, but stuck on the open ocean for 66 days protecting himself from Mother Nature’s  natural elements. After his boat capsized and filled with water, Jordan was forced to take radical precautions to ensure his safety as he drifted in the Atlantic Ocean.

The scorching sun caused problems during the day, and the possibility of wet and cold nights proved to be a major obstacle. Jordan found himself hunkered in his 35-foot sailboat to prevent sunburn and stay dry; away from the thrashing waves.

He rationed  his small supply of food and freshwater and when that ran out, he found himself to be a pioneer of desperate tactics. Fish were attracted to his dirty laundry when dipped into the ocean water. With fish swarming the boat he would scoop them up with a net and eat them raw. With a full belly, water became the new issue. A person can survive three days without water. He was surrounded by an ocean but couldn’t safely consume a drop because of the salt content. Jordan made due by collecting rainwater.

Jordan was found drifting in the Atlantic by a German tanker ship after a 66 day ordeal. The Coast Guard was astonished at his amazing health granted the circumstances. Jordan was able to walk unassisted into Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, in Virgina, testifying to his relative health.  Doctors there found that other than a broken shoulder, and a great amount of weight loss, he was fine.

His parents, who reported him missing, are thankful for his safe return back home. The fisherman who set out to see over to months ago thanks God for keeping him safe, and has set his sites on writing a book about his experience as a lone fisherman in the open sea.