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Man drowns on Jersey Shore while trying to save daughter from rip current

Officials: Father drowns trying to save daughter off Jersey Shore
Officials: Father drowns trying to save daughter off Jersey Shore 01:57

AVON-BY-THE-SEA, N.J. -- A man drowned on the Jersey Shore after he jumped into the ocean to rescue his teenage daughter from a rip current. 

Beachgoers watched as divers searched for the 39-year-old man in Avon-by-the-Sea on Friday morning. 

Police and a water rescue team unit utilized all available equipment, including jet skies, before finally locating the man. But they were unable to save him and he died at the hospital. 

Rescuers were able to save the girl and rushed her to Jersey Shore Medical Center. 

"I've lived here for a number of years, and we've always seen, unfortunately, rescues before hours and after hours. It's a rarity that you see such a catastrophe during hours when people are around," said Rich Olster, a Bradley Beach resident. 

Law enforcement officials said the man jumped into the water to save his daughter shortly after 8:30 a.m. when she was swept away near a jetty and got caught in a rip current.

Authorities did not immediately release the identities of the man and his daughter, but said they were visiting from Teaneck

"It's terrible. I just don't understand why people would consider going out in the water when there's no lifeguards on duty," said Bob Zielinski, of Bradley Beach. "It's deceptive because it looks so calm, but you don't see the undertow."

The signs are clear. No lifeguards are on duty at this beach on weekdays until June 17. Most beaches down the Jersey Shore don't have lifeguards on duty during the week until after Father's Day.

In May, six people had to be rescued at Sandy Hook Beach. One of the victims, a teenage boy, died when no lifeguards were on duty there either. 

Officials said no one should go into the water unless lifeguards are on duty, otherwise you're swimming at your own risk.

Update 6/10/23: Father who drowned trying to save daughter on Jersey Shore identified as FDNY Firefighter Mark Batista

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