Most Dangerous Job in the Country Has a Home Here in NJ
There was another close call early Saturday morning at the Manasquan Inlet as a 44-foot lobster boat hit the jetty and managed to make it inside the jetty before partially sinking near the dog beach. The accident happened at 2 a.m., not an uncommon time for commercial fishing boats to be out doing their work. The crew of three men and a dog were not injured after Manasquan Fire and Rescue and the Coast Guard safely brought the passengers about a Coast Guard vessel.
Commercial fishing consistently tops the list of dangerous jobs in the country and we've had our share of accidents here in New Jersey. Two men in their early 30's Paul Matos of Bayville and Dennis Smalling, a Point Pleasant native disappeared at sea earlier this year in February. The list over the years is a pretty long one here in the garden state and yet still the guys who do it for a living wouldn't have it any other way. These guys are tough with a love of the sea that just can't be explained to the average person. The work is grueling and the conditions can be brutal and dangerous. They get very little recognition and the pay is inconsistent and not worth the risk to most of us.
In the first decade of the 2000's 165 people died from Maine to Florida in commercial fishing mishaps, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. So the next time you sit down to a delicious seafood dinner, know that some crew on a boat you would probably be afraid to set foot on, risked their life to bring that to your table. Hats off to some of the toughest, hardest working group of people in New Jersey, our commercial fisherman. Our thoughts and prayers are with them every day of the year.