A pontoon boat carrying seven passengers capsized about a half-mile off Manasquan Inlet Friday, killing two and sending several others to a local hospital.
All seven people were recovered after a search that included the U.S. Coast Guard, New Jersey State Police and the New York City Police Department’s aviation unit, though two were found unresponsive and later died. The two men who died were identified as Alex Osadchy, 66, and Grigory Klokishner, 74, both of Philadelphia, according to state police.
The pontoon boat was towed into Manasquan Inlet by 4:30 p.m. by a TowBoatUS crew.
Although the cause of the vessel capsizing is currently under investigation, the strong currents at the time of the incident may have been a contributing factor, state police said in a statement. Later, state police would confirm that the boat capsized “due to a large swell.”
At the time the boat was being towed in, occasional breakers were present at the mouth of the inlet, and small boats were contending with powerful swells on the way in.
All seven occupants on the vessel were men, but their identities have not been released by police. Of the group, two were pronounced dead and four were taken to Ocean Medical Center, Brick, with non-life threatening injuries. One victim refused medical treatment.