SANDY HOOK – Volunteer search parties have been combing Sandy Hook Bay in an attempt to find the body of Richard O’Day, a Rumson man who’s been missing since May 1.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the parties hadn’t found a thing. His siblings though, are determined to bring their brother’s body home.
They have plastered tackle shops, marinas, restaurants and liquor stores with flyers that have a photo of their missing 54-year-old brother in hopes that people will help look for him.
“We want some answers. We want to know what happened to our brother and where he is,” said Colleen Rozzi, O’Day’s older sister. “It’s been gut wrenching.”
O’Day, a father of three and an investment banker, was last seen at 10 a.m. on May 1, according to the New Jersey State Police. His 27-foot Grady White sport fishing boat was found about 1,000 feet from Sandy Hook, anchored and unattended by a good Samaritan the following day.
O’Day’s wallet and smartphone were found on the boat, but his siblings said they have no clues as to what may have occurred during what they believe were the last moments of their brother’s life.
Rescue search: Rumson man missing after boat found empty near Sandy Hook
The U.S. Coast Guard’s New York station was involved in the initial attempt to find him, but suspended its search on May 3. Since then, volunteers, friends and family have been carrying on the hunt.
On Monday and Tuesday the Pennsylvania-based Christian Aid Ministries’ Search and Rescue team had two boats on the water looking. One of the boats is outfitted with a Klein 4900 Towfish sonar, which is towed underwater and takes images of the bay floor.
“They’re just going back and forth. It’s takes a long, long time to cover the area,” said Lamar Showalter, chief of the ministries’ Search and Rescue outfit, or SAR.
Showalter said they began their search at the spot where O’Day’s boat was anchored. The Global Positioning System, or GPS, coordinated for that spot are 40-26.018 North/074-00.320 West. It’s directly across from the parking Lot L on Sandy Hook.
The second boat, an outboard inflatable, was being used to scan the coast.
The group is 100% volunteer and operates on donations. Showalter did not say how long they would stay on the search.
O’Day grew up in Spring Lake and was the seventh of eight siblings. He graduated Christian Brother’s Academy where he lettered in track. His siblings said he was an experienced waterman who enjoyed surfing and boating.
“We’re humbled by the amount of help we’ve received. If we could ask, we’d want people to please keep their eyes on the water if they’re walking their dog or windsurfing,” said Ellen Goodman, an older sister of O’Day.
When Jersey Shore native Dan Radel is not reporting the news, you can find him in a college classroom where he is a history professor. Reach him @danielradelapp; 732-643-4072; [email protected]
Source: Asbury Park