MANASQUAN — Three people and a dog were rescued from a fishing vessel in the cold waters of the Manasquan Inlet early Saturday morning, and the Coast Guard has been working to ensure the grounded vessel doesn't pose a threat to the environment.

The Coast Guard received word that the 44-foot vessel was in distress around 2 a.m., according to a statement from the Coast Guard. The captain of the Miss Kathleen had intentionally grounded the vessel on Dog Beach, which is approximately 20 yards outside of the channel, the Coast Guard said.

What should have been an easy trip from Station Manasquan Inlet for a 29-foot rescue boat was complicated by shallow water at the time of the incident, the Coast Guard said. As a result a Manasquan Fire Department boat was dispatched, removing the people and animal from the boat and transferring them to the Coast Guard.

None of the people involved in the incident were injured, according to the Coast Guard. Later in the day personnel from TowBoatUS secured a boom around the Miss Kathleen to ensure there were not environmental issues with the vessel. The boat is believed to have around 800 gallons of diesel fuel on board, but there was no sign of "sheen or pollution in the water," the Coast Guard said.

"The Coast Guard is working with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to mitigate the environmental threat posed by the sunken vessel," Capt. Scott Anderson, commander, Section Delaware Bay said.

Anderson did not disclose why the boat was intentionally grounded.

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