Coast Guard rescues 3 stranded jet skiers near Wildwood, NJ

In this file photo, a Coast Guard crew from Station Chincoteague, demonstrates the capabilities of the 24-foot Special Purpose Craft - Shallow Water in the Elizabeth River near Portsmouth, Va., Friday, Nov. 21, 2008. The SPC-SW, a new asset intended to operate in areas that other response boats cannot reach, will enhance capabilities for search and rescue, law enforcement, and Homeland Security missions. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Jones)

24-foot Special Purpose Craft – Shallow Water (USCG File Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Jones))

PHILADELPHIA — The Coast Guard rescued three stranded jet skiers Tuesday near Wildwood, New Jersey.

The three individuals left Schooner Island Marina on two jet skis Monday around 3 p.m. and were expected to return at 6 p.m.

New Jersey State Police investigated and notified Coast Guard Station Cape May, New Jersey, around 10 p.m. when the jet skiers failed to return. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay, in Philadelphia, launched two response boat crews and a helicopter crew to search a 60 square nautical mile area encompassing the jet skiers’ intended route and last known position. Sector Delaware Bay command center personnel coordinated with local police department personnel to search more than 10 miles of shoreline from Cape May to Wildwood.

A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, New Jersey, located the missing jet skiers at approximately midnight and directed a Coast Guard boat crew to the location. Nearly six hours after their expected return time, Station Cape May arrived at the family’s home marina with the three individuals aboard and both jet skis in tow.

The jet skis were disabled after they sucked up sand while in shallow water. A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Small Townsend Inlet used a 24-foot shallow water response boat to perform the rescue.

“This case highlights the outstanding work the members of the U.S. Coast Guard and our search and rescue partners do every day to protect the boating public,” said Capt. Benjamin Cooper, the commander of Sector Delaware Bay. “I am very happy to see these jet skiers safely reunited with family.”

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