TUCKERTON — State Police will continue the search on Sunday for a missing clam fisherman whose boat ran aground off the southern Ocean County coast on Thursday night.

The fisherman, identified by State Police as Christopher Hugg, 45, of Tuckerton, contacted relatives on Thursday night to say that his 17-foot Bow Rider motorboat had run aground in the Hither Channel of Little Egg Harbor. His family notified the Coast Guard on Friday morning, which began a search of a 35-square mile area.

The Coast Guard suspended the search on Friday night but the State Police Marine Services continued searching on Saturday until around 3 p.m. when weather forced them to stop for the day.

State Police spokesman Alejandro Goez told New Jersey 101.5 that no body has been found and they are continuing their search on Sunday in what he called a "search and rescue" mission.

Hugg's fishing gear was found on Hither Island in the harbor at the beginning of the search.

"We offer our condolences to the family and friends affected by this tragedy. Suspending a search is never an easy decision for rescuers," said Capt. Benjamin Cooper, Commander of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay in a statement on Friday night.

Friend Jen Wojick described Hugg as a "great friend" with a "sweet soul" on her Facebook page.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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