Coast Guard, police efforts lead to rescue of ‘overdue’ sailors off LBI

(Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)

(Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)

The U.S. Coast Guard collaborated with local police in a search and rescue mission for two overdue sailing vessels Tuesday evening off Long Beach Island, authorities said.

Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay watchstanders received a call from a family member of mariners who said they had not arrived back at port as scheduled, according to an agency news release.

A crew from Station Barnegat Light began searching on a 24-foot boat in the Barnegat Bay along Long Beach Island, and the Long Beach Township Police Department launched drones to assist, the release said.

“Following the search patterns given by watchstanders, the crew from Station Barnegat Light found the mariners unharmed but unable to sail due to environmental conditions. The crew put the sailboats in tow and brought them safely to the dock,” a Coast Guard spokesperson said.

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Chief Warrant Officer Adam Murray, commanding officer of Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light, told The SandPaper that a trifecta of circumstances led to the search: the wind had diminished, they didn’t have paddles, and neither sailor had a cell phone.

“We are always grateful when we are able to locate missing mariners quickly and find them unharmed,” said David Umberger, command duty officer at the Sector Delaware Bay command center. “Having the assistance of partner agencies such as the Long Beach Township Police Department is always an asset, and we are grateful for their contribution to the case.”

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