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Pontoon boat capsizes off Jersey coast

Two men died and five were rescued after their pontoon boat capsized off the coast of New Jersey on Friday, flinging the occupants into chilly waters.

Investigators believe the boat was tossed by choppy seas on a day with fairly heavy boat traffic.

Witnesses said some of the survivors were rescued by surfers and other good Samaritan boaters on an atypically warm day in which the temperature reached 60 degrees.

Two people were rescued by good Samaritans, four people were rescued by a Coast Guard boat and one person was hoisted into the air by a New York police helicopter, officials told CBS Channel 2.

“One wave came up behind it and almost tipped it, and as soon as it hit, it kind of sat there, and the next wave came up behind it and tipped it the rest of the way. And it looked like there were seven people in the water,” Dan Gallagher of Bridgewater told the Asbury Park Press.

“Luckily, there were a lot of boats around that were able to help people out, and a lot of the surfers were out there, too, picking people up, and then eventually the helicopters came, and I think they might have gotten the last couple of people,” Gallagher said.

Media reports did not indicate whether the boaters were wearing personal flotation devices.

Here is Channel 2 coverage, which includes cellphone video of the capsize and rescues.


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