Donna Weaver –
A scuba diver who dove on the Lady Mary wreckage in 2009 wants the Coast Guard to send him and a team back underwater to photograph and videotape the capsized Mandy Ness fishing boat.
The Mandy Ness capsized 10 miles off the coast of Long Beach Island on Jan. 10, taking the life of Capt. Jim Mears. Mears’ crewmate, 22-year-old Trevor Horan, escaped the capsizing.
Now, scuba diver Steve Gatto, of Sicklerville, Camden County, has called on the Coast Guard to let him and a team of divers assist in the search for the sunken Mandy Ness and then dive the wreckage once it’s found.
“When there’s loss of life, it’s important that people are asking why, and they want answers.
Hopefully, we can find answers and people can have closure,” Gatto said Sunday afternoon.
Gatto said he reached out to the Coast Guard shortly after the capsizing earlier this month to offer his services because he feels that his team is qualified to do the job. He said he submitted an estimate for the job to the Coast Guard late Friday afternoon, but could not discuss the details of the estimate.
“It’s interesting to do these things and find out where they lead. We feel that we can help out no matter whom it is. We’ve always made the data we’ve collected available to anyone,” Gatto said.
Gatto said he is preparing to dive on the Mandy Ness once it is found to do high-resolution video and photos that will show great detail.