OCEAN COUNTY – The summer beach season is over and many lifeguards have returned home or are back in school and swimming is now at your own risk.
That’s the message law enforcement and first responders would like to get out to beach goers as this weekend has seen numerous cases of swimmers in distress.
In Normandy Beach, police and EMS were dispatched around 11:20 a.m. on September 18 to 2nd and Ocean Terrace after witnesses reported a male caught in a rip current struggling to keep above water.
Hopatcong resident Joseph Gates entered the surf with his surfboard and was able to keep the victim above water. Two more surfers, Thoams Galbraith of Warren and Colin Cronin of Lavallette also entered the water with their surfboards to assist Gates and the victim back to the shore. There were no injuries and no one involved required medical assistance.
Off 8th Avenue and Ocean Avenue Ortley Beach, multiple swimmers were in distress. A 22-year-old woman from New Fairfield, Conneticut was the first to be pulled out of the ocean by friends and was treated by EMS and transported to Community Medical Center by an ambulance from Toms River Township. She is stable and expected to make a full recovery.
A 29 year old Freehold man was also pulled out of the ocean by friends. He was conscious and treated by EMS and transported to Community Medical Center with medics on board. He is listed in stable condition.
The third victim, a 27-year-old female from Brookfield, Connecticut, was going under water multiple times and did not appear to be moving. A rescue wave runner from Seaside Heights Fire Department was able to rescue her and bring her to shore.
The firefighters onboard the wave runner performed CPR as they brought her to the beach. Once on the beach, EMS and medics continued CPR and were able to regain a pulse prior to her being transported to Community Medical Center. She is listed in critical condition.
Police cleared the township’s ocean waters of all swimmers due to the dangerous water conditions.