OCEAN CITY, NJ (WPVI) — Families packed the beach in Ocean City, New Jersey on Friday, but many took precautions after a man drowned this week.
“It scares me enough that I won’t go in that deep anymore, and I’ll always have someone by my side just in case,” said Hatboro’s Brayden Zenszer.
The tragedy happened just before 12:30 p.m. Thursday near 12th Street.
A father and his son found themselves in distress in the ocean. Officials said three lifeguards rescued the two men, one of whom was identified as 56-year-old Shawn Reilly, from Thornhurst. He didn’t respond.
“Seeing that happen, running as fast as they ran and they keep jumping, trying to revive him and saying he’s not breathing… it’s just stopping you because you’re here and you’re supposed to be happy,” said Donna Zenszer of Hatboro. “It really makes you think twice when you look at this water.”
Although medics began CPR, Reilly died at Shore Medical Center. The investigation revealed that the 21-year-old son tried to save his father. The son survived.
“It was just tragic because you come here to have a wonderful time in Ocean City and then you find out these currents, maybe they didn’t know it, but it was really hard to watch,” said Doris Schmelzer of Pittsburgh. “The whole beach was silent.”
Officials are trying to warn beachgoers that there are strong currents in the water this weekend as Hurricane Earl threatens Bermuda. Now that the summer season is over, there are fewer lifeguards on the beach.
“A rip current, or undertow as they call it, never pulls you straight down, it just pulls you out,” said Chuck LaBarre, captain of the Margate City Beach Patrol. “So keep calm and try to get out if you get pulled out and swim in.”
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https://6abc.com/ocean-city-drowning-jersey-shore-nj-beach-rip-currents/12216896/ Ocean City drowning: Officials warn of strong rip currents after man drowns in New Jersey