What happened to a boater remained a mystery Monday afternoon as the United States Coast Guard searched for him off the coast of the Jersey Shore.
The Coast Guard says that a fellow boater found a navy blue 23-foot pleasure craft in the ocean off Wildwood around noon. The fellow boater alerted rescuers because he noticed that the boat had fishing poles out but appeared to have no one on board, the coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard says the unoccupied vessel is registered to Jason Sill, 39, of Cape May Courthouse. Sill is a 13-year veteran of the Middle Township Police Department, the department said.
When the Coast Guard arrived to the scene they found fishing poles set up, a packed lunch on board and keys in the boat’s ignition with the engine in a down position and the throttle forward, they said.
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The boat left Pier 47 Marina around 9:30 a.m., according to the marina. The Coast Guard says it appears just one man was on board.
The Coast Guard towed the boat back to its station in Cape May as the search, which included New Jersey State Police, for the boater continued.
Anyone with information on Sill's whereabouts is asked to call the Coast Guard at 215-271-4940.