For more than three years she wandered the sea, devoid of a captain or crew. But last week, she was found off the coast of Spain, about 3,500 nautical miles from her home in Nantucket.
The Queen Bee, a 26-foot pleasure boat, was left to drift after stormy conditions threw her passengers overboard off the coast of Nantucket on Aug. 25, 2008. The ghost boat was found 20 miles off the northern coast of Spain on Jan. 17, the US Coast Guard said today.
“I didn’t think we’d ever see the boat again,” owner Scott Douglas said today. “I thought that was just the unfinished part of our story.”
In 2008, Douglas and his brother-in-law, Rich St. Pierre, were thrown overboard when they attempted to cross a sandbar. Douglas said the men were fishing in an area commonly known as the “Bonito Bar” when a wave hit the boat, throwing them into the briny deep. The men swam to Esther Island, just off Nantucket, where they were rescued by the Coast Guard.
“There were times when both of us didn’t think we were going to make it,” Douglas said in a statement. “Everything had to go our way. It was a miracle.”
The Queen Bee — a latter-day Flying Dutchman — probably drifted north in the Gulf Stream until it hit the North Atlantic Current, which likely carried the vessel to Spain.
According to maritime law, the Spanish Maritime Rescue Coordination Center, the organization that found the derelict vessel, now owns the boat, a Coast Guard spokesman said today. Douglas said he has no plans to try to reunite with the boat.
“Any personal items left on it I’m sure are long gone,” he said. “Though it would be a really neat excuse to visit Spain.”
A.B. I love how according to maritime law, Spain now owns this boat.
Scott here is all jazzed up to be like, “Honey, we have to go to Spain, they found my boat.” The perfect excuse for a little European Excursion. But nope, maritime law comes along with a swift kick to the squish and Scott is once again boat-less.
“No plans to reunite with the boat?”
Ya, that’s because 3,500 miles is a long way to tow back something you no longer own.