By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
AN American man adrift at sea for five days and subsequently stranded on an uninhabited island in the Cay Sal Bank was rescued by the US Coast Guard on Monday, Coast Guard officials said yesterday.
Larry Sutterfield, 39, a native of Illinois, had initially set out from the Florida Keys on a camping trip when he was pulled out to sea.
He had been on an island in the Cay Sal Bank for about a day when he was found by chance by Coast Guard officials on routine patrol in the area. Video shot by the rescue crew showed the man emerging from a small tent on the island and waving frantically to attract their attention.
Crew members reportedly dropped a VHF radio, food and water to the man until a crew from the Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore arrived and took the stranded man to Coast Guard Sector Key West for medical treatment.
He reportedly arrived in Key West, Florida at 12:30am yesterday, receiving medical attention at the Lower Keys Medical Centre.
However, “no major medical concerns were reported,” according to a press release. Randy Detrick, a hospital spokesman, reportedly said Mr Sutterfield was in “fair condition.”
Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios has reportedly called Mr Sutterfield “very fortunate” to have been found.
Cay Sal Bank is the third largest and westernmost of the Bahama Banks. It is closer to Cuba than to any Bahamian island, with the westernmost tip of Andros 90 miles to the east of Cay Sal Bank.