By MADDY VITALE
State Police identified two men Thursday who were thrown from a boat that washed ashore on a north end beach in Ocean City the day before.
As a result of the Wednesday morning accident, Philip Azzante, 59, of Alloway, Salem County, suffered fatal injuries, according to State Police.
The operator of the boat, George Boos, 73, of Thorofare, Gloucester County, was transported to an area hospital.
Details about the relationship between Azzante and Boos were not released at this time and authorities are still investigating what led to the accident.
Authorities received a call at 11:58 a.m. Wednesday about an unoccupied boat. Troopers from the State Police Atlantic City Marine Station were first on the scene, along with the U.S. Coast Guard.
“At some point or another, both occupants were ejected off and the boat continued on unmanned,” State Police Sgt. Philip Curry said.
The investigation remains open.
Multiple agencies worked to locate the missing boaters.
Members of the Coast Guard Delaware Bay command center were notified by the Ocean City Police Department that a 26-foot center console recreational boat was found beached with personal belongings still aboard near Great Egg Harbor Inlet at Seacliff Road, according to a Coast Guard release.
State Police determined the identity of one of the men through a cell phone found on the boat. The officers acquired a video feed from the Somers Point Marina confirming that the two men left the marina early Wednesday morning.
A helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City searched the waters along with a 29-foot rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Great Egg and small boat crews from Ocean City police and the Longport Fire Department.
Azzante and Boos were spotted in the ocean and a Coast Guard swimmer was lowered into the water from the helicopter to rescue the men.