Man stranded on uninhabited island in middle of ocean for 3 days rescued

The island of Cay Sal is in the Straits of Florida and west of the Bahamas.

ByJon Haworth ABCNews logo
Tuesday, August 22, 2023
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KEY WEST, Fla. -- A man who was stranded on an uninhabited island for three days has been rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard after his boat became disabled while sailing.

The incident occurred on Friday when the Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders received notification from a Coast Guard Air Station Miami Auxiliary aircrew that a disabled sailboat near the island of Cay Sal in the Bahamas was firing flares for help, according to a statement released by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The island of Cay Sal -- isolated in the Straits of Florida north of Cuba and west of the Bahamas -- is just under 6 square miles and remains an uninhabited part of the Bimini district of the Bahamas.

"S.O.S." is written on a beach in Cay Sal, Bahamas, in an undated photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard on Aug. 18, 2023.
U.S. Coast Guard

Authorities from the Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew were dispatched to the area and were able to find a man -- who currently remains unnamed -- stranded on the island.

The U.S. Coast Guard were able to drop supplies to the stranded sailor -- including food, water and a radio to establish communication -- and he informed the crew that he had been "stranded for three days after his vessel became disabled during his voyage," according to the U.S Coast Guard.

Sector Key West watchstanders were then able to divert Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark's crew to retrieve the man from Cay Sal before he was transferred to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force in good health, officials said.

"We're proud to have saved this man's life. This case serves as a perfect example of why you must have the proper safety equipment on your vessel," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Dev Craig, a Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstander. "Without seeing the flare, the case may not have had a successful outcome."