Deadly boat accident probe focuses on collision

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The Coast Guard is focusing its investigation of the deadly fishing boat accident in placid waters off New Jersey’s Long Beach Island last week on the possibility that a collision was the cause, offering another layer of credibility to the surviving crew member’s suspicion that it was a crash that tipped the boat over and killed the captain.

Investigators today are in the Port of Houston, a shipping port in Texas, conducting a dockside inspection of an unidentified commercial ship believed to have been in the same area of the Mandy Ness when it capsized late Jan. 10. They are expected to peruse ship records, interview crew members and visually inspect the hull in an effort to determine whether the large shipping vessel collided with the 44-foot fishing boat, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Cynthia Oldham, a Coast Guard spokeswoman.

“That’s what they’re investigating right now,” she said. “They’re not ruling anything out, but that’s a possibility.”

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