State police authorities are currently investigating the cause of a boat accident that led to the death of one man off the coast of New Jersey this weekend.

Eric Kim, a 31 year old man from Woodbridge Township, was killed on Saturday after the 18 foot recreational vessel he was travelling in collided with a 38 foot long Yellowfin fishing vessel, said the United States Coast Guard’s 5th District Public Affairs Office. According to authorities, the collision occurred at approximately 1.15pm on Saturday afternoon, about 1.5 miles off the coast of Long Branch.

Kim sustained serious head injuries as a result of the accident, and was transported to a local hospital where he later died of his injuries. The exact cause of his death has not yet been determined, but an autopsy is planned for later this week.

The driver of the recreational vessel that Kim was travelling in, 34 year old Soo Lee, suffered minor abrasions in the accident. Kim and Lee were the only people on the recreational boat at the time. The four people who were on board the fishing vessel did not sustain any injuries.

Crew on the No Surrender Yellowfin fishing vessel issued an emergency radio call to the Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay officials after the accident. No Surrender passengers rescued the two injured men from the water after the force of the collision threw them overboard. The men were pulled  on to the deck of the No Surrender, where the passengers assisted in basic first aid treatment. They then travelled to the Shark River, where they were met by authorities from the United States Coast Guard Station in a response boat.

The 18 foot recreational vessel, which sustained major damage in the collision, was towed back to shore later that day, said US Coastguard spokesman Petty Officer Brandyn Hill.

Kim was transported by a waiting ambulance crew to Jersey Shore University Medical Centre, where he later died.

New Jersey State Police are currently investigating the incident, and are yet unclear as to the exact circumstances leading to the collision. According to state police spokesperson Sgt. Brain Polite the vessel that Kim and Lee were travelling on was anchored when the fishing boat struck them.

The captain of the fishing vessel has been identified as Thomas O’Loughlin, 44, from Princeton. O’Loughlin and his three passengers will be questioned by police as part of the ongoing investigation into the accident.


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