Stuart Bee had departed Friday afternoon on his ship from Cape Marina to Port Canaveral before being crippled by mechanical problems on Saturday.
The 32-foot Sea Ray became disabled, leaving it to drift helplessly into the Atlantic Ocean.
Officials say he was abruptly woken up after midnight on Sunday “when water rushed into the forward cabin and pushed him out of the ship’s front hatch.”
He was left stranded in the sea for hours in the dark, clinging to the last part of his boat that was still above the water.
But the U.S. Coast Guard said as conditions got lighter, he finally spotted another vessel and began desperately trying to report it.
“After sunrise, he noticed the Angeles motorboat in the distance, took off his shirt and started waving his hand to get the attention of the crew,” a spokesperson said.
Footage shows him climbing aboard the boat, before the crew responds to an “Enhanced Group Call” message saying they have located the missing man.
Captain Mark Vlaun, Commander of the US Coast Guard Area in Jacksonville, greeted those involved in the rescue.
“Saving lives at sea is our highest calling,” he said.
“It’s a truly incredible result that demonstrates the bond between all sailors and our community.
“Thank you to our mission partners for taking action and to everyone who spread the word to find and save Mr. Bee. ”
A spokesperson for the US Coast Guard added: “Thank you to all the sailors who were on the lookout and in particular the Angeles motorboat for saving Mr. Bee. ”