New Jersey Coast Guard Units Have A Busy 12 Hourse

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.– Coast Guard units from New Jersey have assisted multiple boaters in distress over the last 12 hours.

At 10 p.m. last night, the Coast Guard was notified of an overdue vessel by a family member of Mike Swaggart, 44, who reportedly left MinMar Marina in Sea Isle City, N.J., and hadn’t returned on time. Swaggart reportedly left the marina at 2 p.m. yesterday on a clamming trip in his 22-foot Aquasport fishing boat. Swaggart’s wife had arranged to meet him back at the marina, but when he was late, she notified the Sea Isle Police Department and the Coast Guard. A rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City was launched and found Swaggart on board his boat in Ludlam Bay. His boat battery had died and he was unable to restart his engine. Swaggart was hoisted aboard the helicopter and taken back to the air station where he was met by his wife.

At 4:30 a.m. today, the crew of the Jamie Mae, a 78-foot commercial fishing vessel homeported in Point Pleasant, N.J., reported to the Coast Guard that their vessel was disabled. A 47-foot boat from Coast Guard Station Manasquan Inlet, N.J., deployed to the scene and was able to take the Jamie Mae into tow back to the station.

At 5:20 a.m. today, the Coast Guard received a report from the crew of the Blue Heron, a 37-foot sailing vessel homeported in New York, that they were taking on water six miles off of Long Beach Island, N.J. Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light, N.J., a rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City as well as the vessel Shadowfax, a good samaritan, responded to the request for help. Dewatering pumps from both the rescue helicopter and Station Barnegat boat were given to the crew of the Blue Heron. The Blue Heron is currently being assisted by TowBoat U.S. and being escorted by the crew from Station Barnegat Light.

The Coast Guard urges mariners to carry marine band radios on board and to file float plans prior to getting underway. Carrying a marine band radio is a reliable way to communicate while on the water. In the event of an emergency, cell phones are unreliable due to battery power and gaps in coverage. Filing a float plan, which is simply telling a family member or friend where you are going and when you will be back, will help provide valuable information to rescue crews in the event that you have an emergency on the water and can’t get back to shore.

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