Coast Guard assists man, cat from disabled sailboat off Toms River, NJ

5th Coast Guard District News
TOMS RIVER, N.J. — The Coast Guard is assisting a man and his cat Friday after the man’s sailboat lost its mast about five miles east of Normandy Beach.

The man aboard the sailboat Tardus used his cell phone to contact Coast Guard watchstanders at approximately 5:20 p.m. and reported his sailboat lost its mast, was taking on water and he was in need of assistance. Communication with the boater was lost.

A 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew and a 25-foot Response Boat – Small crew, both from Coast Guard Station Manasquan Inlet and an MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City responded to the distress.

Once on scene, Coast Guard boat crews confirmed the sailboat’s mast was hanging over the side of the sailboat but determined the sailboat was not taking on water. Petty Officer 3rd Class William Torpie, one of the rescue boat crewmembers, went aboard Tardus and is assisting the man by driving the sailboat to shore.

“This man was lucky to have cell phone service and was able to call for help,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas Frantz, a crewmember from Coast Guard Station Manasquan Inlet. “We highly recommend all mariners have a working VHF-FM radio aboard their boat. It is the most reliable, direct way to reach the Coast Guard during an emergency.”

The man was reported to be sailing from Connecticut to Florida.

No injuries were reported.

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