Police: Sunken vessel off Sandy Hook is missing “El Jefe”

     A search operation for the missing fishing vessel off Sandy Hook yesterday afternoon. (Photo: NYPD)

    A search operation for the missing fishing vessel off Sandy Hook yesterday afternoon. (Photo: NYPD)

    Police have confirmed that the sunken vessel discovered this morning off Sandy Hook is “El Jefe,” a 40-foot steel fishing trawler out of Belford that sank yesterday afternoon. 

    According to a New Jersey State Police update on Facebook, authorities have not confirmed the presence of a body on the vessel. 

    Shortly before 9:00 a.m. today, a New Jersey State Police side-scan sonar located the boat near Buoy 14 in the Sandy Hook Channel.

    The agency’s divers investigated and confirmed the identity of the vessel before suspending operations due to water conditions. 

    “Due to dangerous water currents, the State Police Marine Services Bureau has suspended activity for the day. Operations will resume early tomorrow morning,” a New Jersey State Police Facebook update said. 

    Belford Seafood Co-Op posted on its Facebook page last night that “El Jefe” had failed to return to dock in the fishing community. 

    “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Captain Tom [Andresen] tonight. His boat, El Jefe, is reported to have capsized off the coast of Sandy Hook this evening. Captain Tom is said to have been on board alone, and has not been located, as of yet. We pray for his safe recovery,” the posting said.

    According to a US Coast Guard release, the Section New York command center received a notification that a 40-foot steel fishing trawler sank in the Sandy Hook Channel shortly after it began taking on water at 4:30 p.m. yesterday. 

    The Coast Guard responded along with the New York City Police Department, New York City Fire Department, New Jersey State Police, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, and local fire departments. 

    Operations were suspended last night before resuming early this morning. 

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