6 rescued after fishing boat sinks off NJ

May 31, 2012 2:33:49 PM PDT
The Coast Guard rescued six people from a life raft Thursday after their fishing boat hit the rocks and sank along the New Jersey shore.

The 38-foot fishing vessel "Southern Comfort" ran aground while traveling through the Barnegat Light Inlet and began taking on water, sending the six scrambling onto the life raft, the Coast Guard said.

The six were checked out by emergency medical personnel but none was hospitalized, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard identified the six as the vessel's captain, Albert G. Stork, whose boat is homeported in Forked River; Dennis Koleszar, of Forked River; Bill Sagion, of Little Egg Harbor; and three men from Pennsylvania, Gary Mertz of Northampton, Albert Kristoff of Glenshaw and John Wargofchik of Greensburg.

Two Coast Guard boats from the Barnegat Light station were dispatched after a crewmember radioed in a distress call at about 7:45 a.m.

The fishing boat floated off the jetty and sank with 350 gallons of diesel fuel aboard, the Coast Guard said.

Chief Warrant Officer Jay Greiner, the commanding officer of the Barnegat Light station, praised the captain for marking sure to brief all those aboard before leaving dock on where the safety gear was located and how to use it.