LONGPORT — The Coast Guard suspended its air and water search Monday evening for a boater who disappeared after his vessel struck a jetty in Longport.
The pontoon boat, with two men aboard, hit the rocks on the bay near 11th Avenue about 11:30 p.m. Sunday.
One of the men, who was not identified, swam ashore and called police.
Coast Guard Petty Officer David Marin said the missing man is 45-year-old Andrew Biddle. It’s believed he was driving the boat.
The Coast Guard previously misidentified the man as Andrew Bittle.
Biddle was the manager at Professional Boat Services in Northfield and raced powerboats with the shop’s owner, Tracy Blumenstein, according to Press archives.
In 2012, the pair set a speed record at the Biloxi Grand Prix of the Sea in Mississippi.
Longport Mayor Nick Russo said he was told the boat may have hit a channel marker first.
“It’s my understanding that the boat hit a buoy and not the jetty, and I believe that some of the residents may have heard cries for help, but that’s all I know,” he said.
Longport resident Michelle Jones watched the search crews comb the water nearly 12 hours after the search began.
“But we heard the helicopters last night going back and forth searching for him,” she said.
Several private vessels joined the search Monday morning. State Police are leading the investigation. Blumenstein could not be reached for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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