Coast Guard continues search for 4 missing off Cape May, N.J.

CAPE MAY, N.J. – Coast Guard crews began to search at 7:15 a.m. Wednesday for the four missing fishermen from the 71-foot fishing vessel Lady Mary, 75 miles off the coast of Cape May.

The Coast Guard Cutter Dependable continued to search through the night. An MH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., and a HC-130J air crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., rejoined the search early this morning.

Two deceased fishermen recovered Tuesday were identified by family members as Royal Smith Jr., and Timothy Smith.

Jose Luis Ariese was rescued in fair condition and released from a local area hospital Tuesday afternoon.

Still missing are; Frank Reyes, Frankie Credle, William Torres, and Tarzan Smith, identified as brother of vessel owner, Royal Smith Sr.

“On behalf of the Coast Guard I extend condolences to the family members of the deceased fishermen recovered from the fishing vessel Lady Mary. Coast Guard helicopters, planes and cutters from North Carolina and New Jersey have completed multiple searches over 225 square miles in the past 24 hours. The weather on scene has made search conditions difficult and, particularly when added to the cold water temperatures, has made survival more daunting. Regardless, the skilled men and women of the Coast Guard will continue to search, but time and environmental conditions are against us.” said Rear Adm. Fred M. Rosa, Jr., Fifth Coast Guard District Commander.

The Coast Guard Cutter Dependable recovered the Lady Mary’s life raft and 406 MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon from the scene Tuesday. The fishing vessel Kathryn Marie contacted the Coast Guard at 4 p.m. Tuesday and indicated they heard a mayday call at about 5 a. m. The fishing vessel Kathryn Marie reported no name or vessel position was heard on that mayday call.

The Coast Guard will conduct a Marine Casualty Investigation.

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