For over three years, the Queen Bee trawled the open ocean, devoid of a captain or crew. But last week, the abandoned Nantucket ghost boat surfaced off the coast of Span, nearly 3,500 nautical miles from home.
When Scott Douglas, 58, watched his yellow 26-foot fishing boat disappear as he swam toward the coast of Nantucket, Mass. in August 2008 he thought that would be the last time he'd see the Queen Bee.
He and his brother-in-law Rich St. Pierre were tossed from the boat in a wave and watched as it disappeared into the swelling surf near a place commonly known as the Bonito Bar. They swam to Esther Island, just off Nantucket, and were later rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard.
I didn't think we'd ever see the boat again, Douglas said. I thought that was just the unfinished part of our story.
Then, Douglas got a call from the U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday saying that the boat had washed up along the northern coast of Spain near Llanes. Though it was rusty and covered in barnacles, the boat was, for the most part, intact.
Any personal items left on it I'm sure are long gone, Douglas said in a statement. Though it would be a really neat excuse to visit Spain.
According to Spanish media, the boat still contained a first-aid kit, a radio, fire extinguishers, and maps of the U.S. East Coast. The word Nantucket was clearly visible on the ship's starboard.
Objects drifting from the United States across the Atlantic to Europe are rare. Typically, derelict ships form Florida will be located off the coat of Virginia, or vessel from Virginia off the coast of Massachusetts.
Officials speculate that the Queen Bee -- a latter-day Flying Dutchman -- likely drifted north in the Gulf Stream until it hit the North Atlantic Current, which probably carried the vessel toward Spain.
Douglas said he has no plans to haul the boat back. It's a good thing - technically, the Nantucket ghost boat now belongs to the Spanish Maritime Rescue Coordination Center, according to maritime law.
Though the boat no longer belongs to him, Douglas has another idea for the Queen Bee. The Retired grandfather of four is interested in turning the story of the Nantucket ghost boat into a children's book.