By Oren Liebermann
BARNEGAT LIGHT, N.J. (CBS) – The 44-foot fishing boat became a prison for the two-man crew when the commercial scalloper capsized late Tuesday night. Trevor Horan, 22, was trapped inside with Captain Jimmy Mears, 54, breathing from an air bubble and waiting for help.
“They were filling up with water,” said Trevor’s mother, Ann-Marie Hendrickson.
Hendrickson says she saw her son before he went fishing that night. Fishing runs in the family, and Hendrickson says the sea has always called to her son.
“He loves it,” said Hendrickson. “When he’s on land, he’s miserable. When he’s out there, he’s happy. He’s a different person.”
But at 11:00 p.m., the boat flipped. Horan and his captain waited inside the hull in darkness. Horan estimates they were trapped for 45 minutes before he realized he had to get out. Hendrickson says months of survival training kicked in, and Horan was able to swim his way out of a broken window to a waiting boat.
“I think it helped him. I think everything he’s gone through with the Sea Cadets and the Captain’s School, I really think it helped him.”
The flag at the Lighthouse Marina flies at half-staff for the captain who never made it out. The tightknit community has put of signs of support for the family of Captain Jimmy Mears, while reaching out to Trevor.
“Barnegat Light is a very small community. They’re not going to let anyone go without support and help and prayers,” Hendrickson said.
Hendrickson says the water will soon call her son back out, and she knows before long he’ll be back on the water, doing what he loves.
The Coast Guard says a commercial salvage company will tow the boat in soon so the investigation can begin into what caused the capsizing.