- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 24, 2009

TOMS RIVER, N.J. | The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for two Virginia crewmen missing after their fishing boat was hit by a big wave and sank off southern New Jersey.

Coast Guard aircraft and rescue boats searched for about 24 hours before suspending operations Thursday night.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Crystalynn Kneen says there are no plans to resume the search unless new information warrants it.

A crew member from New Jersey was found in a life raft shortly after the Coast Guard received a distress signal from the 38-foot Alisha Marie on Wednesday night. Point Pleasant resident Robert Mark Cooper told rescuers he was the only one to get into the raft.

Missing are Newport News, Va., residents William Brown Jr. and Joseph Bell.

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