Fishing boat, 2 on board missing off New Jersey coast

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The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a fishing boat off the coast of Barnegat

The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for a fishing boat that issued a distress signal about 40 miles off the coast of Barnegat, New Jersey.

The desperate effort began after the distress signal was sent around 1:20 a.m. Thursday, and now, two fishermen who have been missing for nearly two days.

The missing vessel is a 46-foot fishing boat called the Queen Ann's Revenge. On board were 30-year-old Paul Matos, of Bayville, and his crew member Dennis Smalling.

The Coast Guard dispatched boats, a helicopter and an airplane to the scene. A fishing boat helping in the search found possible debris.

Units from New Jersey to North Carolina were taking part in the search

At the time of the distress report, there were 10-foot seas, 25 mph winds and a sea temperature of 46 degrees Fahrenheit, the Coast Guard said.

Capt. Scott Anderson, commander of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay, said suspending a case is never an easy decision for first responders to make.

"We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident," Anderson said in an emailed statement.

If mariners discover any items related to the fishing vessel, it is requested they contact Sector Delaware Bay watchstanders at 215-271-4940.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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missing personfishingcoast guardBarnegat BeachOcean County
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