Coast Guard suspends search for missing kite surfer near Sandy Hook, N.J.

Coast Guard Station New York 25-Foot Response Boat-Small file photo

Coast Guard Station New York 25-Foot Response Boat-Small file photo

NEW YORK — The Coast Guard suspended its search for a missing kite surfer near Sandy Hook Bay, Saturday afternoon.

Missing is Sinisa Bjelajac, 44, of Hoboken, New Jersey.

The search was suspended  after searching an area from Sandy Hook, New Jersey, to Coney Island, New York.

In all, Coast Guard and partner agency crews searched more than 150 square miles. Coast Guard assets logged approximately 30 combined total search hours while conducting separate search patterns.

“Suspending a search is one of the most difficult decisions we have to make,” said Cmdr. Brian Murphy, Coast Guard Sector New York search and rescue mission coordinator.” After heavily saturating the area with Coast Guard and partner agency assets, we have suspended the active search. We will resume searching if any new information is obtained which would assist us in locating the missing kite surfer.”

At approximately 5 p.m., Friday, watchstanders from Sector New York command center received a report over the radio from a boater stating they witnessed a kite surfer in distress near Horseshoe Cove in the Gateway National Park.

The boater stated he located an unconscious male attached to a kite in a harness. As the boater tried to pull the kite surfer from the water, a large gust of wind pulled the kite line out of his hands and he lost site of the unconscious man in the water.

The command center issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast (UMIB) and launched a rescue crew from Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook.

The kite surfer was described as being a white male with dark hair and wearing black shorts.

Assisted in the search were:

  • A Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook boatcrew
  • A Coast Guard Station New York boatcrew
  • A Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, New Jersey, MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew
  • New York Police Department Aviation and Marine Unit
  • New York Fire Department Marine Unit
  • New Jersey State Police
  • U.S. Park Police
  • Atlantic Highlands Fire Department
  • Monmouth County Police Department

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