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Boat abandoned off Nantucket found in Spain

Logs 3,500 miles adrift for 3 years

The Queen Bee, a 26-foot pleasure boat, was discovered off the coast of Spain Jan. 17, after being left adrift Aug. 25, 2008, after a storm off Nantucket knocked the crew overboard MARITIME RESCUE COORDINATION CENTER, MADRID, SPAIN/Maritime Rescue Coordination Cen

For more than three years, she wandered the sea, without a captain or crew. But last week, she was found off the coast of Spain, about 3,500 nautical miles from her home in Nantucket.

The Queen Bee, a 26-foot pleasure boat, was left adrift after stormy conditions tossed her passengers overboard off the coast of Nantucket on Aug. 25, 2008.

Incredibly, on Jan. 17, the abandoned boat was discovered 20 miles off the northern coast of Spain, the US Coast Guard said yesterday.

“I didn’t think we’d ever see the boat again,’’ owner Scott Douglas said in a statement. “I thought that was just the unfinished part of our story.’’

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In 2008, Douglas and his brother-in-law, Rich St. Pierre, were thrown overboard when they attempted to cross a sandbar. Douglas said the men were fishing in an area known as the Bonito Bar when a wave hit the boat and ejected the men into the water. The men swam to Esther Island, just off Nantucket and were rescued by the Coast Guard.

“There were times when both of us didn’t think we were going to make it,’’ Douglas said. “Everything had to go our way. It was a miracle.’’

The Queen Bee probably drifted north in the Gulf Stream until it hit the North Atlantic current, which likely carried the vessel to Spain.

According to maritime law, the boat now belongs to the Spanish Maritime Rescue Coordination Center, the organization that found the vessel.

Douglas said he has no plans to try to reunite with the boat.

“Any personal items left on it I’m sure are long gone,’’ he said. “Though it would be a really neat excuse to visit Spain.’’