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Fishing trip turns fatal off Jersey coast

DEC. 3 — Three fishermen who went missing after setting out on a fishing trip Wednesday morning, Nov. 28, were found dead early Thursday. Though there were life jackets on the boat, none was wearing one, according to the Coast Guard.

At around 5:45 p.m., the Coast Guard received a call from a friend of the anglers, who said the men had not returned. At 1:10 a.m. Thursday their 25-foot fishing boat, Knucklehead, was found overturned about five miles off Atlantic City, N.J., according to a Coast Guard press release.

The boat belonged to Mark Stroud, 46, who was found on the scene with friend Danny Pavic, both from Galloway, N.J. The men were declared dead by a medical examiner, according to NBC News.

“He loved fishing and that’s what took him,” says John Stroud, father of Mark Stroud, speaking to NBC News. “The whole family were fishermen — grandfather, me, his uncle.”

The third man on the trip, Jerry Berwick, 64, of Philadelphia, was discovered inside the boat when it was righted by a TowBoatU.S. salvage team at 1 p.m. Thursday, according to the Coast Guard. Knucklehead was towed to Somers Point, N.J.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the accident, and officials urged boaters to wear a life jacket whenever they are on the water.

“Having a life jacket on board and not wearing it, it’s like putting a seatbelt on during a car accident,” says Petty Officer Nyx Cangemi, who also spoke to NBC.

This was the second fatal accident involving New Jersey boaters last week. On Wednesday, Marcial Ramos, 72, from Minotola, N.J., drowned when his boat went down on Delaware Bay.

— Elizabeth Ellis