On November 12, 2009 the search for three fishermen aboard the F/V Sea Tractor was suspended by the United States Coast Guard. The F/V Sea Tractor was a 44-foot commercial fishing vessel home ported in Cape May. The vessel is believed to have sank in heavy seas of up to 20 feet and high winds. The accident happened approximately 20 miles east of Cape May. The Coast Guard was alerted to the disaster when it received a transmission from the vessel emergency positioning locating beacon (epirb). A Coast Guard helicopter was on the scene approximately an hour later and discovered an empty life raft with a strobe light attached. A fishing vessel in the area reported finding a debris field and the vessel’s epirb.
Believed lost in the tragedy are the vessel’s captain, Kenneth Rose Sr., his son Kenneth Jr., and crewman Larry Forrest. All of the crewmen are reported to be from North Carolina. The loss of the crew of the F/V Sea Tractor follows the loss of six crewmen from the F/V Lady Mary. The Lady Mary was also home ported in Cape May.