Witness says he tried to help sinking fishing boatPosted: Updated:
New Jersey State Police are expected to resume recovery efforts on Thursday for a sunken fishing boat off the coast of Sandy Hook.
The fishing vessel, "El Jefe," was reported missing Tuesday after witnesses say they saw the boat flip over. Officials believe captain Tom Andresen was the only one on board.
State police located the boat Wednesday morning, but could not confirm if there was anybody inside the boat.
Witness and fellow fishing boat captain Adam Austin says he saw the boat flip and tried to help.
"Everybody was rushing to the front, and the mate ran to get the life ring to hopefully throw to somebody. I got three life preservers, came out back and the boat had sunk. Within a minute or two it was gone," he says.
Austin says other boats arrived on scene quickly, so anyone who was on El Jefe would have had strong chances at being rescued, but the boat went under fast. The Coast Guard began searching.
"With each passing minute that went by you realized there wasn't anybody to throw that life ring to," Austin says.
Tom Andresen made his living fishing on El Jefe. He was seen going into the boat's cabin before it flipped over. The Belford Fishing Coop bought Andresen's catch weekly, and posted a photo of "El Jefe" at Belford's public dock.
Recovery efforts were called off Wednesday afternoon after water conditions became too dangerous.