Two men aboard a 31-foot powerboat that capsized this morning off Barnegat Light survive a harrowing dip in the drink, courtesy of the Coast Guard and some good Samaritans.

USCG officials say the incident unfolded about eight miles out at sea. The captain of the troubled craft radioed for help on VHF-FM Channel 16 just before 8 AM. Guard information says he pinpointed their location and called for immediate help.

Two crews on 47-foot motorized lifeboats left Barnegat Light and a crew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter was dispatched from the Atlantic City air station.

One of the two victims was rescued by people aboard a fishing-party boat, the Jamaica II, berthed in Brielle. They had confirmed the sighting and described both as clinging to life rings. The other was plucked from the chilly water by one of the two lifeboat crews.

According to USCG, the captain explained that the boat was inundated by a series of overpowering waves that his bilge pump was unable to handle. Both were treated by emergency medical teams but are said to be unhurt.

One of the two lifeboats became disabled when a small fire broke out topside, according to ancillary information.

The Coast Guard Boating Safety page contains information about staying safe in the open water.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.