Ha...thats the difference between the ruler and someone who has done it in person a few times. That ride from the Bay to the inlet is not a fun one in a sailboat as you are steering in very shoaled area ( 1 ft on either side) in a narrow ( 30 ft) channel for about 25 minutes swatting greenhead flies ( New Jersey state bord) and hoping the PB wakes dont knowck you onto the flats.
I think you are right in your call that the CG didnt want to close the inlet down so as not to impede other boats since the boat it the outside of the north jetty ( ocean side vrs the inlet side) and was not a hazzard to navagaition. Anyone wanting to slavage or rescue would have had to fight the breakers and surge against the rocks as well as other hidden rocks and boulders ( stated in the news article). The CG station is in the back of the oinlet and had a bords eye view of what was happeneing. That CG station handles a lot od distress calls in the inlet as it is a tricky one that people and commercial fishermen use ( Atlantic City, Cape May and Manesquan are the only "good" NJ inlets. This one however is still possible with local knowledge.
Just know that you are in for a suprise in this inlet Barneget) when you come in from the ocean. Its a white knuckler comming in, but stay down the fairway from the sea bouy ( gong) all ways out 1.5 miles. 12 ft shoals on eaither side 1/2 mile out cause the swells to break and the rollers can go sideways through the inlet. You normally can relax once you get in between the jetties as in most inletsbut not here, as there is a shoal which takes up the whole 1/2 of the south side of the inlet meaning you have to steer slose to the rocks ( jetty) on the north side....then a further suprise awaits you. at the rear of the inlet passage when the rocks end you have to do a severe 90 degree dogleg to port and cross perpendicullary across the back of the inlet ( tide hits you broadside from whatever direction for this little 250 yard jaunt. This s well marked but confusing to a first timer.
Once across the back of the inlet you have a choice...go to Barnegat Bay ( 25 minutes of the barrow channel with Greenheads or stay close to the island (Gas and marinas) There is one of the prettiest anchorages just after the turn to go to Barnegat Bay with a beautiful lighthouse view and cool ocean breeze with no greenheads. , but you have to proceed a few hundered yards before turning in. How do I know ( At low tide the birds are standing in the sand ). When we anchor
here we dingy over to Barnegat light to the best custard stand I have visited by the lighthouse
There is also a nice YC ( HIghbar) if you go further back behind the Island.
When we go to NE and the LI Sound every year we stop in this anchorage and go in this inlet unless the seas are 10 ft in the ocean and the wind componenet is over 20 from the E or NE. When the condition are like this the rollers are to large through the inlet and transiting is to dangerous IMHO. Safe to stay outside and proceed down to Atalantic City or up to Manesquan.