Coast Guard suspends search for fishing vessel Mandy Ness off NJ coast

5th Coast Guard District NewsBARNEGAT LIGHT, N.J. — The Coast Guard suspended its search for the 44-foot commercial fishing vessel Mandy Ness Saturday, which capsized 10 miles offshore here Jan. 10.

After an extensive underwater search conducted by the crews of the Coast Guard Cutter William Tate, homeported in Philadelphia, the Coast Guard Cutter Willow, homeported in Newport, R.I., Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light, the Coast Guard Deployable Operations Group Dive Team, and Coast Guard investigative officers at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia, the Coast Guard has been unsuccessful in trying to relocate the vessel which is believed to have sunk sometime after the capsizing.

When the weather permitted, the crews used sonar to scan approximately 24 square miles of seafloor for more than a two week period.

“The search operation was truly a group effort. Our search and rescue coordinators collaborated with marine engineers and scientists from Rutgers University and Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., to develop an undersea search area, which took into account subsurface ocean currents and vessel type,” said Capt. Meredith Austin, commander of Sector Delaware Bay. “Our buoy tenders deployed side scan sonar to detect subsurface anomalies and divers were prepared to confirm if any found objects were in fact from the Mandy Ness.”

“While the Mandy Ness hull is certainly an important piece of evidence, we are able to complete the investigation without it,” said Chief Warrent Officer Rick Gladish, investigating officer from Sector Delaware Bay.

Coast Guard watchstanders received an emergency position indicating radio beacon notification at 11:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10 from the fishing vessel Mandy Ness 10 miles east of Barnegat Light. An urgent marine information broadcast was issued, which was heard by the fishing vessel Francis Ann. The Francis Ann crew arrived on scene and pulled one survivor from the water. An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Atlantic City and a 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Station Barnegat Light arrived on scene. The rescue swimmer was deployed and recovered an unresponsive person from under the capsized vessel then transferred the person to emergency medical personnel at the air station.

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