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Sailor Rescued in Gulf of Mexico

July 6, 2001

DESTIN, Fla. (AP) _ A novice sailor who ventured into the Gulf of Mexico to watch Fourth of July fireworks was carried out to sea and had to be rescued from his capsized 16-foot catamaran.

Joseph Crowe had been at sea about 21 hours when the fishing boat Sea Wolf found him Thursday about 30 miles from shore.

``I just went out too far,″ Crowe said.

Crowe left Destin on Wednesday for Fort Walton Beach, about five miles away, to pick up his sister. He got off course and was at least 10 miles offshore when a thunderstorm struck.

Unsure of the way back to shore in the dark, he loosened the sails and let the boat drift while he catnapped, thinking he would orient himself by the sun and head home in the morning.

His plan worked until a strong wind gust overturned the boat.

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