Coast Guard rescues 3 crewmen after scallop boat capsizes

The Coast Guard rescued three men from a 64-foot scallop vessel that capsized near the Manasquan Inlet in Point Pleasant early Wednesday.

Coast Guard officials say they received a distress call at 4:53 a.m. Wednesday from the ship, the Atlantic Traveler, which had lost steering and clutch control after a hydraulic hose snapped. The ship was drifting toward the inlet's south jetty.

Officials arrived shortly after 5 a.m. to tow the boat, but struggled with waves reaching 10 feet. The boat then slammed into the jetty, capsizing and tossing all three passengers overboard. By 5:15 a.m., the Coast Guard had rescued each of the men, all of whom refused medical attention.

The three men on the ship have been identified as William Hill, 58, of Brick, his nephew William Lewis, 30, of North Carolina, and Matthew Morris, 19, of Point Pleasant.

Getting the 110-ton boat out of the water will be tricky. Special equipment must be purchased to hoist it out of the ocean and put it on a barge, which could take days. The Coast Guard says the owner of the boat is responsible for the cost of it, as well as the tab for the environmental cleanup.

Two of the three rescue men had saved the crew of a sinking ship two years ago.

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