Rescue crews searched for a 52-year-old man Friday night in the Hereford Inlet off North Wildwood, said Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Nick Ameen.
Four people, two fathers and their daughters, were walking along near the beach in knee-deep water. At about 5:30 p.m., they fell into a drop in the sand and were caught in the undertow, according to a news release from North Wildwood police.
One father and one daughter got back to shore. They flagged down a personal watercraft operator who rescued a 7-year-old daughter. The second father, Brad Smith, 52, of Horsham, Pa., disappeared into the water.
North Wildwood police, New Jersey State Police Marine Unit, North Wildwood Beach Patrol, the North Wildwood Fire Department and the Coast Guard responded.
At 8:30 p.m., the search was called off for the night except for a Coast Guard boat crew.
“They’re planning all sorts of sonar searches for the morning,” Ameen said. “The helicopter actually had to return to base because of the moisture coming up into the aircraft, (which) rendered their nightvision goggles useless.”
A police officer has been posted at the First Avenue beach throughout the night.
Contact David Simpson: