Coast Guard ends search for missing fishing boat off NJ coast
BARNEGAT — Two men on board a fishing boat that went missing on Thursday are presumed to be lost at sea as the Coast Guard suspended a search for them.
The Coast Guard said it covered 4,441 square miles by air and sea in search of Queen Ann's Revenge after receiving a distress call and an emergency position-indicating radio beacon about 1:20 a.m. on Thursday morning 40 miles east of Barnegat.
The Coast Guard cutter Lawrence Lawson joined the search on Friday along with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, search-and-rescue crews from Air Station Atlantic City, 47-foot Motor Life Boat crews from Coast Guard Station Manasquan Inlet and Barnegat Light, and HC-130 Hercules aircrews from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
The water in the area of the search was 46 degrees with 25 mph winds and 10 foot waves, according to the Coast Guard.
A good Samaritan fishing boat crew helping with the search located possible debris from the boat on Thursday.
Milne Oliveira, who identified herself as the sister of Paul Matos, the missing boat's owner, wrote on Facebook that a crew member named Dennis Smalling from Point Pleasant was the only other person on board with her brother.
"Our family wants to thank everyone who reached out to us, who prayed for my brother Paul and his crew member Dennis. We also want to thank the US Coast Guard for everything," Oliveira wrote on her Facebook page on Friday.
"We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident,” Capt. Scott Anderson, commander, Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay said in a statement. “Suspending a case is never an easy decision to make as first responders.”