A sailor has been rescued hundreds of miles off the Carolina coast after surviving 66 days at sea in a disabled sailing vessel.

Louis Jordan, 37, was rescued by the crew of a passing container ship, who alerted the U.S. Coast Guard to their discovery. Jordan was taken on board the ship, the Houston Express, about 200 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. He was taken to a Norfolk, Virginia, hospital by helicopter.

Jordan and his boat, the Angel, set out on Jan. 23, and were reported missing by his family on Jan. 29. The Coast Guard called off its search for the vessel on Feb. 12, leaving Jordan's family to fear the worst, Fox Carolina reported.

Jordan told his father, Francis, by phone that he survived by catching fish with his hands and eating them raw, and by using his hands to cup and drink rain water, Lt. Krystyn Pecora of the Coast Guard told CNN.

Images posted on social media by WAVY reporter Liz Palka show a bearded Jordan, apparently in good physical condition as he arrived at the hospital by helicopter.




Other images showed Jordan walking from the helicopter into hospital, with an attendant pushing an unused gurney behind him. Palka tweeted that doctors at the hospital said that Jordan's condition was good.

The Coast Guard released an audio clip of Jordan's first conversation with his father, made while he was still aboard the container ship that saved him.

Responding to his father asking him how he is, Jordan says: “I'm doing fine now.”

Jordan also apologizes about losing his boat. “I couldn't fix it,” he tells his father. “I couldn't sail back with my boat, I'm so sorry. It's such a big loss.”

“I'm so thankful you're alive. That's all that matters,” Jordan's father, Frank says.

You can listen to the full conversation at WAVY News.