A New Jersey State Police Trooper is being credited with helping several stranded Quebecois tourists to safety Sunday, after their boat grounded near the Hereford Inlet.
State Police Trooper Christopher Jones, with the state Police's Atlantic City Marine Services was patrolling near Champagne Island in Hereford Inlet at around 4 p.m., State Police said. The island is a shoal off of North Wildwood.
Jones saw two women and a man in choppy water being drawn into the inlet by a strong current. Police said they had been on a 22-foot boat, operated by Benoit Vachon, 28.
After the boat grounded on the shoal, the three got out to push and quickly found trouble.
Jones approached with his Zodiac patrol boat, stopped, and threw a rescue line to one woman, later identified as Emilie Gagmom, 25.
As Jones pulled Gagmom in, he saw a man, later identified as Nicholas Linneau, 27, try to rescue the other woman, later identified as Laurence Raby, 25.
Seeing Linneau and Raby struggling, State Police said Jones threw Linneau a dock line and jumped into the water to assist Raby, bringing them, then Gagmom, onto his boat.
Once on board, all three declined medical attention, State Police said.
Jones joined the State Police in 2004 and is currently assigned to their Atlantic City Marine Services Bureau.