The family of NBC News reporter Robert Bazell was found "safe and in good condition" yesterday, after drifting for three days in their 14-foot boat in the Caribbean, a Coast Guard spokesman said.
Petty Officer Richard Kane said that Bazell's wife, Margot, and two children -- Rebecca, who turned 14 yesterday, and Joshua, 12 -- were picked up at 5:18 p.m. EDT by a Japanese tanker about 40 miles southeast of Grand Cayman Island. Bazell left the boat on Wednesday after it ran out of fuel and swam to shore.
"All three are safe and in good condition," Kane said.
After his family was found, Bazell flew over the tanker in a helicopter and saw his son, according to NBC News spokesman Bill McAndrew. Bazell, a science reporter based in New York, has been with the network news staff since 1976.
Bazell told the Cayman Islands News Bureau he and his family were returning from snorkeling off the islands when they ran out of fuel about two miles west of Grand Cayman. He said the boat's anchor line was not long enough to hold the craft in the deep water so he "decided the best thing to do would be to swim to shore and get some help."
"I told my wife and children not to touch the anchor line, but to let it stay in the water in the hope the boat would not drift too far," the news bureau quoted Bazell as saying. "The current was much stronger than I thought. It took me about three hours to swim to shore."