BARNEGAT LIGHT- Two crew members of the missing Queen Anne's Revenge are presumed dead. The Coast Guard has officially ended its search for the two crew members of the missing fishing boat, the commander of the Sector Delaware Bay said Friday night. "We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident," said Capt. Scott Anderson. "Suspending a case is never an easy decision to make as first responders."
The search began shortley after 1:20 a.m. early Thursday morning. Coast Guard first responders searched 4,441 square-miles by sea and air for the crew of the Queen Ann's Revenge. When the boat was last heard from conditions were rough. There were 10-foot seas, roughly 25 mile per hour winds and an ocean water temperature of 46 degrees, Anderson said.
Coast Guard Spokesman Seth Thomas said the Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads in Portsmouth, Virginia received an emergency position-indicating radio beacon alert (EPIRB) at 1:20 a.m. roughly 40 miles off the coast of Barnegat Light.
The two crew members are Paul Matos, 30, and Dennis Smallings, according to Milene Oliveira, who is Paul Matos's sister.
The family got the heartbreaking news earlier on Friday, when they met with the Coast Guard, she said.
Her family "wants to thank everyone who reached out to us, who prayed for my brother Paul and his crew member Dennis," she wrote on her Facebook page. We also want to thank the Coast Guard for everything.
Unfortunately my brother and Dennis are presumed lost at sea. Again thank you everyone, your words of comfort mean everything to us."
Coast Guard units involved in the search are MH-65 Dolphin helicopter search and rescue crews from Air Station Atlantic City, 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.