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Coast Guard, good Samaritans assist disabled fishing vessel crew off New Jersey coast

NEW JERSEY – The Coast Guard and good Samaritans assisted four mariners Tuesday after the 64-foot commercial fishing vessel Monica became disabled about 85 miles from the New Jersey coast.

The Monica was reported to be experiencing transmission issues and a Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light 47-foot Motor Life Boat (MLB) crew safely towed the vessel to Lighthouse Marina, in Barnegat Light.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New York contacted the Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay command center at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday to relay that a person aboard the fishing vessel Monica sent a distress hail reporting they were experiencing transmission issues offshore and needed help returning to shore.

Good Samaritans aboard the nearby commercial fishing vessel Alexandria Dawn heard the distress call and diverted to help. The Alexandria Dawn crew arrived on scene and initiated a tow of the Monica towards Barnegat Light.

Sector Delaware Bay watchstanders maintained direct communications with both the Alexandria Dawn and the Monica crews throughout the towing operation.

A commercial salvage company that was contacted to assist with the towing operation rendezvoused with the two vessels and took over the towing operation 5-miles offshore from Barnegat Light.

Additionally, Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light deployed two MLB crews to standby for support.

Due to deteriorating weather conditions, current hazardous conditions of Barnegat Inlet, and the capabilities of the salvage vessel, it was determined the safest course of action was to transfer the tow responsibility to one of the Station Barnegat Light MLB crews.

At around 4:30 p.m., the MLB crew assumed control of the tow and safely towed Monica into Barnegat Inlet.

The second MLB crew took the Monica in a side tow and transferred the disabled boat’s crew safely into Lighthouse Marina, where the Monica was securely moored.

A post search and rescue law enforcement boarding found zero safety violations.

The Coast Guard rescue crew consisted of Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Henry, Petty Officer 1st Class Kyle Pluard, Petty Officer 2nd Class Nick Elliott, Petty Officer 2nd Class Anthony Del Real, Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyle MacPherson, Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Kesinger, Petty Officer 3rd Class Owen Hall, Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Juhlmann, and Seaman Christopher Bassoline.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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