Authorities said that during the Labor Day weekend, there was one fatality and more than a dozen swimmers needed to be rescued from the water along the New Jersey Shore.
Since at least last Tuesday, the National Weather Service had issued a warning about “a high risk for the development of dangerous rip currents for the New Jersey and Delaware Beaches”. According to the weather service, the warnings will continue to be in effect through Labor Day and into Monday night.
According to a statement from the Beach Haven Police Department, three people were swimming in Beach Haven on Sunday afternoon when they got caught in a rip current.
A 22-year-old man was reportedly declared dead, while two of them were safely taken to shore.
According to the statement, during the attempted rescue, roughly 15 lifeguards formed a chain and started a methodical search for the one victim who had been submerged.
According to the statement, “simultaneously, five lifeguards started a deep water grid search of the deeper water using paddle boards and a JetSki.”
The man who was declared dead was located with additional assistance from local and state authorities, according to the police department.
A few hours later, five swimmers in Seaside Park who were caught in rip currents were saved by lifeguards, according to Andrew Casole, a spokesman for the Seaside Park Police Department.
Search attempts are under way for a missing 31-year-old male who was swimming apart from the group, according to Casole.
The Belmar Police Department released a statement stating that five additional swimmers were saved at Belmar Beach in the late afternoon. “The tide came, that’s when they got pulled in,” Chizzy Meremikwu, a witness, told CNN affiliate WABC.
“They were yelling, ‘Help, help!’ from behind. Everyone sprinted off the beach at that point, shouting for lifeguards, the man claimed.
According to Belmar police, one swimmer was unconscious and was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center.
Two of the swimmers who were saved were also sent to a nearby hospital, the statement said.