Coast Guard Searching After Man Falls Off Tanker

NEW YORK–A massive, multi-agency search continues for a tanker ship crewman who fell overboard 20 miles south of Ambrose Channel, the main shipping lanes to and from the Port of New York and New Jersey, at 10 a.m. today.

The man, whose name and nationality are presently being withheld by authorities, is a crewman aboard the Overseas Altamar, a 600-foot tanker ship that was headed to New York. Other crewmen threw him a lifering after he fell overboard, and the ship radioed the Coast Guard and changed course in an attempt to relocate their crewman.

The Coast Guard and New York Police Department immediately launched helicopters, from Air Station Atlantic City and Floyd Bennett Field, respectively. The NYPD launched a response boat and the Coast Guard dispatched a 47-foot rescue boat from Station Sandy Hook, N.J. The Coast Guard also diverted the cutters Ridley and Seneca from routine patrols. The Seneca was as far as 60 miles away when diverted.

“The NYPD is a great partner in saving lives and we are aggressively searching with as many assets that we have on hand in the hope of finding this mariner,” said Lt. Craig Toomey, a watch officer at the Command Center in Sector New York.

The missing individual was reported by the ships master to be wearing a blue inflatable jacket and orange coveralls.

Sea conditions are reported as 2-3 feet and visibility is excellent.

The cutter Seneca is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter based in Boston, and the cutter Ridley is an 87-foot patrol boat based in Montauk, Long Island.

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