Coast Guard suspends search for Ocean County man last spotted in rowboat

U.S. Coast Guard Mid-Atlantic released these surveillance images of a missing man who rowed a boat into the Toms River on Tuesday. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard Mid-Atlantic)

U.S. Coast Guard Mid-Atlantic released these surveillance images of a missing man who rowed a boat into the Toms River on Tuesday. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard Mid-Atlantic)

Update: The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office announced Thursday afternoon that Conway was found deceased along the shoreline in Island Beach State Park. An autopsy will be performed to confirm Conway’s cause of death, prosecutors said. 

The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a man who went missing after taking his rowboat into a southern New Jersey waterway hours before strong storms swept through the area this week.

Matthew Conway, 67, of Ocean Gate, was last seen on security cameras near Ocean Gate Beach shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday as he got on a boat at a local beach and rowed along the Toms River, state police said.

His wife reported him missing a few hours later, around the time severe thunderstorms and strong gusty winds moved through the region. In the nearby East Dover section of Toms River, homes suffered damage, trees and wires fell, and some utility poles snapped around 3:30 p.m.

State police searching by air and by boat discovered a lifejacket in the area on Wednesday.  However, there has been no sign of the rowboat Conway was using.

Authorities ask anyone with information to contact the Coast Guard Section Delaware Bay Command Center at 215-271-4942.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

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