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Sailor, 77, Found at Sea After Eight Days

The Coast Guard on Thursday found a 77-year-old man, who had been missing for more than a week after his sailboat battery died, in his vessel off the coast of Florida.

Craig Neus was in good health when the Coast Guard located him about six miles south of Apalachicola, Florida, on his 32-foot beige two-masted Bristol, the Mariah. The Coast Guard said it found Neus by tracing his cellphone during a search that covered more than 76,000 square nautical miles.

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission boat crew traveled to the scene to check on Neus, and a commercial salvage company later took the Mariah in tow to Carrabelle, Florida.

Neus, who last was seen on Nov. 4 making a purchase at a resort in Captiva, Florida, told authorities that his boat battery had died and that he had been out of cell phone range.

His daughters reported him missing on Nov. 5, the Coast Guard said. They had been trying to call Neus, whose phone hadn’t been working in previous days but began ringing again on Thursday. Neus and his family members did not return messages left by NBC News seeking comment.

Neus had been sailing from Baltimore to his home in Panama City, Florida.

Coast Guard searching from Boca Grande to Panama City, Fla., for missing boater
The Coast Guard is searching for a missing boater between Boca Grande and Panama City, Fla., Nov. 11, 2014. Missing is Craig Neus, 77, from Panama City, Fla., who was reportedly sailing his 32-foot Bristol from Baltimore, Maryland, to Panama City, Fla. U.S. Coast Guard District 7 PADE
— Miranda Leitsinger