Two recent Jersey Shore residents were among three fishermen who died after their boat capsized Tuesday night off the Oregon coast.

The U.S. Coast Guard responded to a call for a fishing vessel that needed assistance crossing Yaquina Bay, according to Oregon State Police. Using a helicopter, they found the capsized Mary B II.

Police said the Coast Guard rescued James Lacey, 48, previously from South Toms River, in the Pacific and transported him to a hospital, where he died.

The fishing vessel Mary B II
The fishing vessel Mary B II (Stephen Biernacki via Facebook)

The boat's skipper, Stephen Biernacki, 50, previously from Barnegat, was found with the vessel after it ran aground on the beach and was pronounced dead at the scene.

A third man, Joshua Porter, 50, from Toledo, Oregon, was found on the beach where he died.

The Coast Guard battled 12-14 foot waves in the Yaquina Bay during the rescue.

Biernacki on his Facebook page posted a picture of his vessel and said he hoped to fish nine to 10 months of the year. He said he had permits to fish for dungeness crab, salmon albacore and black cod.

Viking Village dock manager Ernie Panacek told the Asbury Park Press that Biernacki and Lacey had been based at the Barnegat Light dock before moving to Oregon.

James Lacey
James Lacey (James Lacey via Facebook)

The vessel was also featured on the Discovery Channel show "Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove" with a different owner. The show focused on the dangerous waters of Yaquina Bay.

The Newport Fisherman's Wives, an organization that assists families who have lost a fisherman, said they are accepting monetary donations to assist the families.

Stephen Biernacki
Stephen Biernacki (Stephen Biernacki via Facebook)

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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