Atlantic City lifeguards pulled an unconscious man from the surf at the Indiana Avenue beach and unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate him Thursday.
Authorities have not determined how the man died or whether he had been swimming at the time. None of the dozen lifeguards on the beach in that area saw anyone in distress, Atlantic City Beach Patrol Chief Rod Aluise said.
The patrol has not had a drowning while a lifeguard was on duty in at least 30 years.
“It’s just not typical in any way,” he said. “We don’t know what the circumstances are as of yet.”
The man was floating facedown about 20 yards off the beach, Aluise said.
Emergency medical technicians immediately began cardiopulmonary resuscitation in addition to using an automated external defibrillator, Aluise said. But the man could not be revived.
The call came in at 4:32 p.m., police Sgt. Monica McMenamin said.
The Atlantic County medical examiner was called to the scene and will determine the cause of death, Aluise said.
The man was found between Indiana Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, but closer to Indiana, Aluise said.
On the beach, the body was covered by a sheet. Police officers and Beach Patrol members blocked the public’s view of the body with all-terrain vehicles.
The incident took place on the same beach where 10-year-old Khitan Devine went missing and drowned while swimming after hours June 10.
After Devine went missing, Fire Chief Dennis Brooks told The Press of Atlantic City that the area, between Central Pier and The Pier at Caesars, is the city's most treacherous for swimming.
In 2009, Aluise told The Press that hard structures in the water, such as piers and jetties, tend to strengthen rip currents.
Rip currents have been particularly strong this year, an expert in the subject told The Press in July. He said they tend to be cyclical, with rip currents being tame one year and violent the next.
Thursday’s rip current risk was upgraded from low to moderate about 2 p.m., National Weather Service meteorologist Greg Heavener said.
“We have an observer, and he said he’d seen an increase in the rips (Thursday),” Heavener said.
He said he thinks they have seen more moderate days this year than in most years.
“A moderate classification means that the wind and the wave conditions in the surf zone are supportive of an increased chance of rips,” he said.
Heavener said a high classification will often result in the closing of a beach.
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