Man Missing, Another Dead After Saving People from Rough NJ Waters
One young man is considered missing and another is confirmed drowned after each helped rescue people who got caught up in rough surf off the Jersey Shore in separate incidents this weekend.
The search resumed on Monday morning for Jabed Ikbal, 24, of Clementon, who helped two family members who ran into trouble while swimming Sunday evening in the strong current of the Great Egg Harbor Inlet near the Ocean City-Longport Bridge, according to Ocean City spokesman Doug Bergen.
The two family members made it out of the water, but Ikbal did not, prompting a search that included Coast Guard helicopters and boats, Ocean City Beach Patrol personal watercraft, Ocean City Police Department and Ocean City Fire Department boats and land vehicles.
The National Weather Service said there was a moderate risk of rip currents on Sunday, with winds gusting to 20 knots.
In an earlier incident rough surf on Friday night in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Fay in Ventnor led Jalan Alston, 18, of Brooklyn to run into the water and assist two friends who also ran into distress.
Alston pushed two friends to shore after they ran into difficulty, but did not return to the beach, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Guard led a search covering 58 square miles on Friday and Saturday.
Ventnor Police police chief Douglas Biagi said Alston's body was recovered in Atlantic City on Saturday.
One of the two people who said he was helped by Alston created a GoFundMe page titled "Jalan the Hero Swimmer" to assist with funereal expenses.
"He selflessly and almost instinctively jumped into the current after me, pushed me out and got me to shore. He then tried to get back to the shore with Sierra’s help, but to no prevail. He understood what was happening, grabbed her wrist and shook his head, then with a push sent her to the shore with me using his last bit of strength he had," Jayda Smith wrote.
Jalan Alston's brother, Mark Alston, told USA Today that his brother had just graduated from George Westinghouse High School in Brooklyn.
Biagi praised the actions of all who helped in the search for Alston.
"To the Ventnor City Fire Dept and the firefighters from AC, Margate and Longport, you have always been there in our time of need. City boundaries and borders don’t exist on your maps and I thank you for being there Friday evening. This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time we aid one another," the chief wrote on the police department Facebook page.