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Stowaway by necessity

NOV. 27 — The Coast Guard removed a man from a barge this month after his sailboat collided with the vessel and he jumped on board to avoid falling into the water.

The man, who is 51, was sailing his 33-foot sailboat off St. Augustine, Fla., when it collided with the 115-foot barge being towed by a tug, news reports say. The barge crew spotted the man and, thinking he was a stowaway, called authorities.

A team of Coast Guard personnel, along with Customs and Border Patrol officers, boarded and searched the barge, the reports say. The sailor was found and handcuffed. When authorities determined the man’s identity and nationality they transported him on a rescue boat to Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville (Fla.). The barge crew was apparently unaware that a sailboat had hit their vessel.

The man had been living aboard his sailboat and was not injured in the collision, according to reports. After the accident he was reportedly staying at a local shelter.

— Jason Fell