N.J. search continues for captain of boat

Posted: April 25, 2013

OCEAN CITY, N.J. - The Coast Guard continued Wednesday to search a 30-square-mile area off the southern end of this Cape May County barrier island for a boat captain who went missing Tuesday.

Investigators said the 50-degree water was being searched for David McAuliffe, 32, of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., after a distress signal was received about 10:35 Tuesday morning from the 45-foot Cape Hatteras. McAuliffe, an experienced captain, left Absecon Inlet about 7:45 a.m. and was en route to the Great Egg Harbor Inlet for an inspection of the boat, which is part of the Sea Tow fleet, a marine rescue franchise in Atlantic City.

Various pieces of emergency equipment were apparently aboard, including two survival suits and a pair of life rafts. Within seven minutes of receiving the alert, the Coast Guard said it was in the location where the boat's radio beacon first signaled trouble.

A fuel slick and debris were found floating in the water, as well as a deployed life raft, but there was no sign of the captain or the boat. The search continued in an area where a strong northeast swell could have pushed the vessel or the missing captain, officials said.

- Jacqueline L. Urgo

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