Off-duty Lifeguards Rescue 10-Year-Old Girl From Rip Current in Ocean County
BRICK — The heroics of two off-duty lifeguards Monday afternoon helped to point out the dangers of swimming on an unguarded beach.
Matt Schwartz and Brett Tusinac, who are guards at Chadwick Beach in Toms River, ran 50 yards into the ocean after they noticed a 10-year-old girl yelling for help, according to the Asbury Park Press.
There was a moderate risk for rip currents posted at the time, in an area between Ocean Club at Mantoloking and Deauxville Beach in Brick.
The second-year lifeguards were on a training run around 4 p.m. and had no equipment with them, according to the report.
Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said while certain days have a higher rip current risk than others, the threat is never zero.
"The ocean is a powerful force and swimmers need to always stay aware of changing surf conditions," Zarrow said. "If you're not a strong swimmer and/or if there's no lifeguard on duty, it's probably best to just stay out of the water."
There have been at least 11 drownings in New Jersey in swimming pools, lakes and the ocean since mid-June, including cousins who drowned at a beach in Belmar in June.