An HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater (Florida) spotted a fire and a man waving his arms in distress on Cay Sal Bank, in the Bahamas, during a routine patrol on Monday.
According to the Coast Guard, Larry Sutterfield, 39, had been adrift for approximately five days, before his disabled dinghy washed up on the island. The air crew dropped water and a VHF radio to Sutterfield while watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Key West diverted the Kathleen Moore, a nearby cutter ship to Sutter's location.
Petty Officer John-Paul Rios, a Coast Guard spokesman, said Sutterfield had set out from Marathon in the Florida Keys on a camping trip when he was pulled out to sea.
The above video comes from the C-130 crew that spotted Sutterfield.
Cay Sal Bank is located about 60 nm southeast of the Florida Keys and is considered part of the Bahamas, though there are no Bahamian facilities present. The area is one of the most remote in the Bahamas chain as it is out of reach of the Bahamian Royal Defense Force.
Due to the remote nature of the area, Coast Guard Cutters and C-130 crews, like the one that located Sutterfield, routinely patrol the area in search drug and other Cuban smuggling operations.
Sutterfield spent about a day on the deserted island before being found by chance. No major medical concerns were reported.
The red marker is Cay Sal, the island where Sutterfield landed. Note how most of the area is submerged. Zoom in to see a more detailed map.