The U.S. Coast Guard rescued an 80-year-old man from a 16-foot boat that ran aground near Barnegat Inlet, roughly in the area behind Island Beach State Park, just after sunset Monday.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay – which has jurisdiction over Ocean County waters – received a report from the son of the overdue boater, stating that his father had not returned home by sunset. The son also told watchstanders that his father departed without communication devices, having only a life jacket and whistle onboard his vessel.
Coast Guard members from Station Barnegat Light and Air Station Atlantic City, along with a New Jersey State police aviation unit, responded and began conducting a search in the area where he was known to go fishing. New Jersey State Police located the man and the Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew hoisted him to safety, transporting him to Island Beach State Park where EMS was standing by.
“This case really emphasized the importance of letting someone know your whereabouts before you get underway,” said Cmdr. Brett Workman, Sector Delaware Bay Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator. “The family knew where he was departing from, where he planned to go, and when he was expected to return. Since his family knew his float plan, we knew where to look, and were ultimately able to locate and rescue him. In addition to letting someone know your float plan, it is always recommended that mariners have reliable means of communication when they are on the water.”