Body in Bay Positively Identified as U.S. Coast Guardsman
Nicholas Holmes, 25, died of accidental drowning in Saturday accident, State Police say
State Police have identified the body found in Barnegat Bay yesterday morning as that of Nicholas Holmes, 25, who fell off a pleasure boat early Saturday evening, Capt. Frank Davis said.
An autopsy performed by the Ocean County Medical Examiner's office today determined that the Coast Guard Petty Officer died of accidental drowning, Davis said.
Holmes was a passenger in a 23-foot scarab boat on Tices Shoal around 6 p.m. when the boat was hit with a strong wake from another passing boat.
Holmes and Michael Cavanaugh, another passenger, were both ejected into the water. Cavanaugh was able to make it back onto the boat, but Holmes disappeared.
"The wake from another boat contributed to the driver's control of the boat," Davis said. "He (Holmes) basically got knocked off the boat."
Davis said he did not know if Holmes was wearing a life jacket.
Preliminary investigation has deemed the incident accidental, but the probe is continuing. No one has been charged in connection with the accident, Davis said.
Police boats retrieved Holmes' body from the bay around 10 a.m. Tuesday morning and brought it into Berkeley Island County Park. The body was discovered about two miles from the northeast corner of Berkeley Island County Park, State Police have said.
Holmes was a Petty Officer First Class with the Coast Guard. He was an active duty member stationed at Air Station Atlantic City as a machinery technician, according to information released by the Coast Guard yesterday. He had been in the Coast Guard for six years, Petty Officer Michael Lutz has said.