NEW ORLEANS – Worried crew members on a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ship saw the boat last week.
It was a 30-foot sailboat in choppy water in the Gulf of Mexico, about 80 miles south of Cape San Blas, Florida. The sailboat, named “My Time,” appeared to have operational electronics and its main sail was neatly stowed. But there didn’t seem to be anyone on board.
The NOAA crew sent radio calls and even blasted their ship’s horn, but got no response. That’s when they alerted the Coast Guard in Mobile.
For two days, the Coast Guard tried to get a good look at the sailboat but bad weather put the investigation on hold, while the Coast Guard appealed for information from the public.
Monday (Nov.19), the Coast Guard reported that the crew on one of its helicopters had finally spotted an unidentified man at the “My Time” helm.
Did the sailor know that other mariners in the Gulf believed that his boat was abandoned and adrift?
Coast Guard Public Affairs Specialist Lexie Preston couldn’t say. She said the “My Time” never did respond to the Coast Guard’s radio calls.
The chopper crew “saw a friendly wave,” says Preston, and that was it.