The website for the Beach Runner, a 32-foot Rampage sport fishing boat based in Wildwood, New Jersey, says, “Whether you want to fish the Delaware Bay or inshore shoals and reefs, the Beach Runner provides a fun, relaxing day for parties of one to six people.”
On a recent Saturday, things didn’t work out that way. At 9 a.m. the Beach Runner issued a Mayday call, saying it was taking on water about nine miles off the Cape May reef. Crews from two other boats, Miss Addison 2 and Porgy IV heard the call and sped to the stricken boat.
“As we got there, the boat was about to go under,” Joey Smith, who was in a fluke fishing tournament on Miss Addison 2, told njadvancemedia. All seven people from the Beach Runner were already in the water; they all were wearing life jackets. The crew from Miss Addison 2 opened the transom door and started pulling people on board. Smith said they “started plucking ‘em out one by one.”
Two Coast Guard boats arrived but Miss Addison 2 had already rescued all seven people. The Beach Runner was completely submerged by the time the last person was pulled out of the water. Some of the seven were shaken up but no one was seriously injured. It was not clear what had happened on the Beach Runner and why it sank.
The water was too choppy to transfer the seven to a Coast Guard boat, so Miss Addison 2 took everyone back to the Coast Guard base in Cape May. Read more: