Barnegat Light Remembers Longtime Fishermen Who Died In Capsize

Barnegat Light mayor community remember Stephen Biernacki, James Lacey as passionate fishermen

Photo of a Coast Guard ship responding to the capsizing of the Mary B II via Oregon State Police.

The Barnegat Light community remembers Stephen Biernacki and James Lacey as kind people and passionate fishermen. Biernacki, 50, and Lacey, 48 – both longtime Barnegat Light fishermen – died Tuesday night after their boat capsized in a bay off Newport, Ore.

“Jim Lacey worked for me for years. … He was a nice guy, both of them were. Steve was a little crazy,” Barnegat Light Mayor Kirk O. Larson laughed. “Jim Lacey was just a nice kid.”

Lacey mostly worked skeleton and other types of fishing, while Biernacki, a Barnegat Light native, mostly focused on tile, sword and tuna fishing, said Ernie Panasek, who worked with both on the Barnegat Light docks.

“Steve grew up around the docks here,” Panasek said. “He worked hard with a passion with many fishermen around Barnegat Light for the most part here at Viking Village.”

Panasek said he has great memories of Biernacki and Lacey, of South Toms River. He said the community is going to miss them.

“Their passion for producing product for the public was always there,” Panasek said.

Read more: Longtime Fishermen Out Of Barnegat Light Killed In Capsize: Cops

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