Boater rescued after more than 2 weeks adrift 'lucky to be alive'

Samuel Moss Jr. says he licked cookies to give him sugar during 16 days at sea

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Carlos Suarez - Anchor/Reporter

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Bahamian man who was rescued from a sinking boat off the coast of South Florida after more than two weeks adrift spoke about his ordeal Friday.

"I'm really lucky to be alive," Samuel Moss Jr. told reporters at St. Mary's Medical Center. 

The U.S. Coast Guard said Moss was found Monday in a small motorboat that was taking on water about 10 miles east of West Palm Beach. He had been missing since Jan. 13.

Moss said he bought the boat for $3,500 on Craigslist from a seller in Hialeah and was taking it back to Nassau, Bahamas.

The 23-year-old man said he ran out of gas and was trying to drift back to Florida. Moss said he had a limited amount of food and water on his journey.

"I had several bags of chips and cookies," he added. 

Moss said he would lick the cookie for sugar. 

Assistant medical director Dr. Kevin Buford said Moss had been lost at sea for 16 days and was "very sick" when he first arrived at the hospital.

"I'm really not sure how he survived," Buford told reporters.

Buford said Moss' body had gone into "starvation mode."

"He was eating his own fat, basically," Buford said.

Moss said he plans on getting back out on the water soon, but first he has to return to the Bahamas.

"I'm taking a flight," he said.

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