The lone survivor so far of a fishing boat accident off the coast of South Jersey has been released from the hospital. But the fate of two fellow crew members from Virginia remained unknown yesterday.
Robert Mark Cooper of Point Pleasant was released Friday from AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center's City Campus, two days after a Coast Guard crew found him in a life raft.
Details about his injuries have not been disclosed, and Cooper could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Cooper was among three people aboard the Alisha Marie, a 38-foot boat based in Point Pleasant. It capsized Wednesday night after it was hit by a large wave about 26 miles east of Barnegat Light.
The search for William Brown Jr. and Joseph Bell, both of Newport News, Va., was suspended late Thursday night.
The last year has been hard for the commercial fishing industry in New Jersey. Nine commercial fishermen operating out of Cape May have died at sea so far in 2009.
Three people died last month when the Sea Tractor sank off Cape May; the owner's body was found when it washed ashore at a North Carolina wildlife refuge.
Another North Carolina boat that operated out of Cape May - the Lady Mary - sank in March, killing six of the seven crew members aboard.
A joint Coast Guard-National Transportation Safety Board investigation is trying to determine the cause of that accident.
The boat owner, Royal Smith Sr., who lost two sons and a brother in the disaster, believes the Lady Mary was struck by another vessel that then left the area.