Twenty-two people were rescued from a sinking charter boat in New Jersey by a Good Samaritan. The U.S. Coast Guard said that the 70-foot Starfish charter boat struck the Townsends Inlet Bridge and began to take on water.
The captain then intentionally grounded the ship in shallow water to prevent it from completely sinking.
An unidentified individual was in the area and saw the boat was in distress. He helped evacuate all of the passengers and then ferried them to the shore, where emergency workers were waiting.
After the passengers and crew were rescued, Coast Guard divers inspected the ship and determined that it was not leaking fuel. A commercial salvage team was dispatched to remove the water from the boat and attempt to patch the hole in the hull.
Starfish Boats said that nobody was injured in the accident.
“Thank you for the kind messages, calls, and comments we have received so far regarding the incident this afternoon. We are hopeful however the boat does have damage and will be inoperable for some time. All passengers, mate, and captain are okay,” Starfish Boats wrote on Facebook. “If you have upcoming scheduled trips we will be reaching out one by one, please give us some time to do so. We will be back!”
Officials did not say what caused the boat to strike the bridge. Capt. Anthony Garreffi, officer in charge of the Sea Isle Police Department, told OCNJ Daily that the Coast Guard is handling the investigation.