The family of the Sea Tow captain lost at sea last week will hold a funeral for him Tuesday morning, according to his obituary.
David C. McAuliffe, 34, died after his rescue boat, the Cape Hatteras, sank in the ocean just east of the Great Egg Harbor Inlet on April 23. His boat was recovered later in the week, and the Egg Harbor Township man was found on the beach in Ocean City on Wednesday.
A formal Coast Guard investigation into the cause of the sinking remains open.
McAuliffe’s vessel was taken to the Avalon Marine Center in Avalon on Thursday, the center’s service manager, Rich Hollinger said.
On Friday, he said, marina crews took the vessel off of the transporting barge, righted it and began preparing a secure place to store and protect it.
McAuliffe’s obituary said there will be two visitations for mourners next week.
The first will be between 5 and 8 p.m. Monday at the George H. Wimberg Funeral Home, 1707 New Road, Linwood. The second will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph Church, Somers Point. The funeral immediately follows at the church, followed by a private burial.
McAuliffe was born in Long Branch, Monmouth County, in February 1979 and grew up in Lacey Township, where he graduated from high school in 1998. He attended the Chapman School of Seamanship in Stuart, Fla., obtaining a master captain’s license for vessels up to 100 tons with a towing endorsement.
He had worked in the marine industry since 1998. Since 2005, he was employed by the Atlantic City Sea Tow franchise, where, his obituary said, “he selflessly dedicated himself to assisting those in distress on the water.”
When he died, he was the Atlantic City franchise’s lead captain. His death marks the first time a captain has died on-duty in the nearly 30-year history of Sea Tow, an international company with more than 100 franchises.
His family has asked that donations to support McAuliffe’s love of animals be made to the Atlantic County Canines, a rescue shelter in the Lower Bank section of Washington Township.
A fund has also been established to help McAuliffe’s wife and 15-year-old daughter with expected financial problems. The David C. McAuliffe Memorial Fund had raised almost $26,000 by Friday afternoon, amid expressions of sympathy from friends, family and even complete strangers, touched by what they have learned.
One person wrote to say that they have a son who is a similarly licensed Sea Tow captain, based on the South Shore of Long Island.
“They do dangerous work, sometimes thankless, but boy they love it don’t they?” wrote a user named “A. McManus” “My son is a little younger, 26, but he reminds me much of David, buzzed head, so healthy looking, so happy. Again, you don’t know me, but please know my love is with you.”
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