Body Found in Search for Missing New Jersey Fishing Boat

The U.S. Coast Guard's search for a missing fishing boat took an ominous turn on Monday with the recovery of a dead body, an empty life raft and an empty life ring.

The search continued Monday night for a second person believed to have been on the Mary James, a 40-foot scallop boat home-based in Manasquan, said Coast Guard Petty Officer John Edwards.

"We're certainly holding out hope that this person is alive," Edwards said.

Coast Guard crews planned to continue the search through the night. After dawn Tuesday they would reassess the situation if the missing crew member had not been located, said Kyle Niemi, a spokesman for the Coast Guard based out of Atlantic City.

The Coast Guard received an initial mayday call at about 11:15 p.m. Sunday, Edwards said.

About 2:30 a.m., a rescue helicopter discovered the empty life raft about 22 miles southeast of Manasquan. The body was later spotted floating in the ocean. Further searching turned up a life ring with the vessel name Mary James printed on it.

By Monday afternoon, the search included an HH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter, an HC-130 Hercules long-range surveillance aircraft, rescue boats, and an 87-foot coastal patrol boat.

The Coast Guard did not disclose the identity of the recovered body pending notification of family members.