The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued two anglers whose 53-foot sportfishing boat experienced an engine fire on Thursday, leaving the crew to turn to inflatable life boats to survive.
The Coast Guard’s Sector Delaware Bay, which has jurisdiction over Ocean County, received a mayday call via VHF Channel 16 from one of the fishermen aboard the 53-foot vessel ‘Reel E Bugging’ stating their vessel engines were engulfed in flames and they needed immediate assistance.
The fishermen were preparing to abandon ship by donning life jackets and deploying their life raft, the Coast Guard said in a statement.
Sector Delaware Bay watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast notifying vessels in the area of the situation and launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City and two 47-foot Motor Lifeboat boatcrews from Coast Guard Station Manasquan Inlet and Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light to the scene.
Once on scene, the Dolphin aircrew spotted the life raft and was able to safely hoist both fishermen and transport them to Monmouth Executive Airport in Wall Township where they were met by family.
There were no injuries reported.
“Today’s case was a perfect example of a unified effort between prepared boaters, the sector, small boats and the air station,” said Lt. j.g. Matt Devlin, a Dolphin helicopter pilot at Air Station Atlantic City. “We are happy that the mariners realized they were in distress and we were able to be there quickly. Ultimately their preparedness led to our success.”