The Coast Guard suspended its search for missing Middle Township Police Officer Jason Sill on Tuesday night, but State Police continued their attempt to locate the missing boater until 10 p.m. Wednesday.
Coast Guard Officer Nick Ameen said Wednesday that the Coast Guard suspended its search just after 10 p.m. Tuesday, but he said the search has not been terminated, meaning that if new information becomes available, it will resume the search.
State Police Sgt. Brian Polite said Wednesday afternoon that State Police continued a surface search on Wednesday and would reassess whether to keep at it today. On Wednesday, the agency discontinued the use of side-scan sonar to comb the ocean floor and an aerial search also concluded.
The Coast Guard is assisting the New Jersey State Police as it continues to search by providing search patterns, Ameen said.
Sill, 39, an avid fisherman from Cape May Court House, was last seen Monday morning at Pier 47 Marina. His 23-foot boat, the Rock-n-Reel, was found adrift with the key in the ignition and two fishing poles still on deck later that day one mile off Wildwood.
Ameen said that so far two helicopter crews, the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Mako and multiple boat crews from Station Cape May have taken part in the search, which covered 75 square miles or the equivalent of 48,000 acres on land. The Coast Guard search lasted for about 34 continuous hours, he said.
Ameen said search conditions were often unfavorable due to high seas and rain, which hampered the search effort.
Sill, who is married and has one child, is a decorated 13-year veteran of the department who is credited with helping save the lives of at least two people.
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