Coast Guard medevacs fisherman, searches for 2 others off NJ coast

The H-65 Dolphin helicopter built by Eurocopter America is the U.S. Coast Guard’s primary rescue helicopter. 

One Coast Guard rescue mission went off without a hitch while hope is dwindling for the lost crew of another fishing boat that is the focus of another, increasingly desperate search mission.

The Coast Guard received a report that a 51-year old crew member aboard the 73-foot fishing boat Connor & Michael was experiencing chest pains and requested a medical evacuation at 12:18 p.m.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City responded, hoisted the man aboard and brought him to Air Station Atlantic City, where he was transferred to awaiting EMS.

“The crew of this fishing boat did the right thing by reaching out to us when a medical emergency began,” said Lt. James Fennessey, the pilot on the case. “Emergencies in the maritime environment can be complex and the quicker we are alerted, the faster we can respond.”

Queen Ann’s Revenge, a 46-foot fishing boat is missing about 40 miles off the Jersey Shore.(Photo credit: of Milene Oliveira)

The Coast Guard is also searching for a fishing vessel in distress approximately 40-miles off the coast of Barnegat, New Jersey, Thursday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads in Portsmouth, Virginia, received an emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) alert for the Queen Ann’s Revenge, a 46-foot fishing boat, at 1:20 a.m., while watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay were notified by fishermen of a distress call over VHF radio shortly after the EPIRB alert.

An MH-65 Dolphin search and rescue helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City was launched, and located the EPIRB. A Good Samaritan fishing boat crew aiding in the search located possible debris.

Paul Alexandre Matos, 30, of Bayville, and Dennis Smalling, were aboard the 46-foot fishing boat when is departed from what’s locally known as “the clam dock” in Point Pleasant late Monday night.

Matos’ sister, Milene Oliveira, told NJ Advance Media that family and friends were becoming increasingly worried that the men wouldn’t be coming home as daylight faded Thursday.

“At this point, everybody has lost any hope that they’ll be found alive — it’s been so long and the weather is cold, we’re completely devastated,” Oliveira said. “He was in the Navy (and) if there is a person who has extensive training with all of this, it’s him — which is why some of us are still holding on to some hope.”

“At approximately 1:25 am my brother’s fishing vessel, Queen Anne’s Revenge, made a mayday call that they were taking in water,” Oliveira said in a message posted on Facebook. “At about the same time his emergency position beacon fired off. The Coast Guard immediately dispatched two rescue helicopters and rescue vessels from the Manasquan and Barnegat posts.”

“The boat was positioning about 42 miles off the coast of Manasquan. At this time the Coast Guard has not been able to locate the boat or my brother and crew,” Oliveira said.

Coast Guard units involved in the search are 47-foot Motor Life Boat crews from Coast Guard Station Manasquan Inlet and Barnegat Light, HC-130 Hercules aircrews from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina and the Coast Guard Cutter Lawrence Lawson is en route.

If mariners discover any items related to the fishing vessel, it is requested they contact Sector Delaware Bay watchstanders at 215-271-4940.

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