Coast Guard rescues 2 brothers from aground pontoon boat

POMONA, N.J. – The Coast Guard rescued two brothers today after the boat they were on ran aground about two and a half miles east of Barnegat Beach, N.J.

Rescued were Paul Grabon, 53, of Barnegat, N.J., and Michael Grabon, 58, of Divide, Colo.

The Coast Guard received a call at about 5:30 p.m. from Bob’s Bay Marina in Barnegat who reported the two brothers overdue when they failed to return a rented pontoon boat.

A rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light located the brothers who ran aground near Clam Island, N.J.

Due to shallow water, the Coast Guard crew was unable to get close enough to safely rescue the brothers.

An HH-65C Dolphin helicopter rescue crew was diverted from a training mission to the scene. The helicopter crew hoisted the brothers aboard the helicopter and transferred them to a baseball field near the Coast Guard small boat station.

“We thought about swimming to shore,” Paul said. “After learning about how far from shore we were and the temperature of the water, we’re glad we decided to stay with the boat. It’s very deceiving out there on the water. Thank goodness we stayed with the boat.”

After being rescued by the Coast Guard, the two brothers may be better prepared for their next boating trip.

“When you go out on a boat, make sure you take some sort of signaling device,” Michael advised. “Flares, flashlights, a radio – take something to signal for help. When we left the pier, it was sunny out: we didn’t expect to be out there in the when the sun set.”

“When the Coast Guard boat arrived, it was dark, and we didn’t have any way to signal them,” Paul said. “We had one cell phone onboard, but the battery was dead. If we had better communications, the whole production would have been a lot easier for everyone.”

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