SEA BRIGHT, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Terrifying moments rocked the Jersey Shore Monday, with two separate searches for swimmers pulled under the surface for rip tides.
As CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported, both of the rescues happened in an unguarded beach in Sea Bright, New Jersey. With a storm moving in Monday night, the water was becoming more dangerous – and borough officials said no one should be swimming where there are not any lifeguards.
Rough waves forced red flags to go up on Sea Bright public beaches Monday. But two teens found themselves trapped in an unguarded part of the ocean just south of the Driftwood Cabana Club.
“One guy was screaming for help. We called 911 – there was only us and them and another person on the beach. They came running – the two lifeguards over there,” said witness Ira Fields. “They got the one guy out. He said his friend’s there.”
A Driftwood lifeguard pulled one victim out, who appeared to be fine. The other teen was nowhere to be found.
Within seconds, Sea Bright Ocean Rescue Capt. Mike Hudson was on the scene, recovering the second victim. He had been underwater for at least 15 minutes, and CPR was administrated.
“When we left and when we turned him over to EMS, he did not have a pulse,” Hudson said. “What I understand right now at the hospital, he does have a pulse currently.”
Hudson said severe rip currents were seen in the area.
“Right now on the beach, I would consider it a moderate to high rip current risk,” Hudson said. “The reason this tragic drowning happened is because this person was not swimming in front of a lifeguarded area.”
Witness Amy Field described the incident as “a bunch of people who ran into an ocean they’re not familiar with.”
Witnesses said lifeguards jumped into action immediately.
“We see them practice all the time,” Field said. “They were incredible, how quickly they got over here, and it was so rough.”
Late Monday afternoon, the rip current risk was moderate for all surfside beaches in the Tri-State Area as the sea was being churned up by an approaching storm, CBS2’s Lonnie Quinn reported. Rip currents were expected to be worse on Tuesday as heavy rains are expected to do a job on the ocean.