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TWO FISHERMEN MISSING FROM 38-FOOT FISHING BOAT - ONE MAN RESCUED

The Christmas eve sinking of the 38-foot Alisha Marie has caused the death of two New Jersey fishermen. One crewman, Robert Cooper, of Point Pleasant, was able to get into the vessel's life raft and was rescued by the United States Coast Guard. The Coast Guard responded to an emergency distress signal from the vessel, received around 7:45 P.M. on Wednesday. The vessel's last location was 25 miles east of Barnegat Light, with waves reported at six feet and winds of 30 miles per hour. The surviving crewman, Cooper, described the vessel as being struck by a large wave, causing the vessel to roll. Search for the missing crewmen, Will Brown Jr. And Joseph Bell, both of Newport News, was suspended Thursday.

The sinking of the Alisha Marie hopefully marks the end of the tragic 2009 East Coast commercial fishing season. Nine other commercial fishermen from Cape May have died previously in the sinkings of the Sea Tractor and Lady Mary. Investigations into those vessels sinkings is ongoing.

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