The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating after a scallop boat collided with a tug boat about six miles off the coast of Cape May, N.J., Thursday afternoon, the Press of Atlantic City reported.
A 42-foot scallop boat, Last Stand, out of Cape May collided with a 78-foot tug boat, Dean Reinauer, out of New York that was pushing a 500-foot barge around 1 p.m., according to the Press of Atlantic City.
The charter boat Sea Star III was fishing for blackfish in the area when they heard a distress call coming from the Land Stand. Capt. Charles Hackett told people on his boat to reel their lines in and then traveled a little less than a mile to help. They were even the first at the scene.
Passenger and fisherman Jerry Rau, of Churchville, Pa., captured video with his cell phone of the Last Stand sinking into the water.
“Coast Guard’s on their way!” one of the Sea Star III’s crew shouted to the men on the boat. “How many guys you got there?”
“Three people. We got everybody,” one of the fishermen shouted back.
The man paddled away from the boat, and within seconds it can be seen completely underwater.
“When it rolled, it rolled over fast and hard. It took under a minute to go down,” Hackett said in the video.
“They got out just in time,” another passenger can be heard saying.
According to the Press of Atlantic City, a Coast Guard patrol boat pulled the the three men to safety 10 minutes later.
Hackett told the Press of Atlantic City that the incident happened at an active shipping channel and that by the time Sea Tow arrived, the boat had already sunk 50 feet into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Coast Guard didn’t identify who was on the boat but said Andy Young of Middle Township, N.J., owned and captained the boat.
The South Jersey Marina owner, based in Cape May Harbor, told the Press of Atlantic City that the Last Stand left from that location and was on its way home when the incident happened.
“These were Cape May County boats looking out for each other,” Weber said. “It worked perfectly.”
Thankfully, no one was injured.