Missing Port Norris fisherman Joshua Catlett’s body was found Thursday on the beach in southern Delaware and identified Friday, New Jersey State Police said.

Catlett, 24, was missing and presumed dead since his fishing vessel capsized April 4, sending him and two surviving crew members into the Delaware Bay about six miles west of Cape May Point.

The body was found on Fowler Beach, along the Delaware Bay near Milton, Del., about 12:15 p.m. Thursday by a person walking on the beach, Delaware State Police said in a statement.

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The Delaware state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to officially determine the identity and cause of death, Delaware State Police said, but New Jersey State Police Sgt. Adam Grossman confirmed Friday that it was Catlett.

New Jersey State Police said the boat that Catlett was on, the 40-foot-long Linda Claire, apparently caught an underwater snag while dredging for conch and crabs, but the U.S. Coast Guard has not officially determined the cause of the accident and is still investigating, said Petty Officer Nick Ameen.

Attempts to contact the family Friday were unsuccessful.

Initial reports about the capsizing indicated that Catlett was not wearing a survival suit, which helps to keep a person dry and prevent hypothermia, when the accident occurred. The water temperature at the time was about 43 degrees.

The other people on the Linda Claire — Capt. Chris Serra, 27, of Vineland, and Dave Wood, 25, of Commercial Township — were rescued by crewmen from other fishing boats working near where the Linda Claire capsized.

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Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.

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