Attempting to save his teenage daughter who had been swept away in choppy surf on the Jersey Shore on Friday, a New York firefighter drowned, according to authorities.
According to first responders, they were able to save the girl and get her father to a nearby hospital where he was later declared dead. According to the department, he was identified as firefighter Mark Batista from the New York Fire Department.
“We are heartbroken to learn about the death of Firefighter Mark Batista, who died Friday while swimming at the Jersey Shore,” New York Fire Department spokesperson Amanda Farinacci Gonzalez said in a statement.
The tweet below confirms the news:
A New Jersey man drowned while attempting to save his teenage daughter who had been swept away in rough surf on the Jersey Shore on Friday, local police said https://t.co/DkTcG6irP2
— CNN (@CNN) June 11, 2023
“Firefighter Batista was a dedicated public servant who spent fifteen years serving in the FDNY, as both an EMT and a firefighter. We join his family in mourning his tragic passing.”
According to a Facebook post by the inter-communal group, rescuers from the Area Network of Shore Water Emergency Responders Team responded to reports that two swimmers were in trouble at the Sylvania Avenue Beach in Avon-by-the-Sea at 8:30 a.m. on Friday. The adolescent was swiftly located and saved by rescuers in the choppy waves, but the male could not be found, according to the post.
According to the Facebook post, the search for the father lasted an hour and included rescue divers, jet ski boats, swimmers, and a drone. A US Coast Guard helicopter detected the father’s “possible location” about 10 am, and rescue swimmers found him and pulled him from the ocean.
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The 39-year-old Teaneck man was rushed to Jersey Shore University Medical Center where he was later declared dead, according to the Avon-by-the-Sea Police Department. First responders made “lifesaving efforts” to save him.
The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office advised prudence in the water in a Friday Facebook post.
In light of this morning’s tragic incident in Avon, where a man perished while attempting to save his daughter after she became stuck in choppy surf, the sheriff’s office issued a reminder to everyone to refrain from swimming when there are no lifeguards on duty.
The official cause of death information is still pending. Police in Avon-by-the-Sea are looking into the incident.
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