A mother will be charged after she was seen throwing her baby into the bay in Atlantic City’s inlet section late Sunday afternoon, police said.

The baby, a female born in September, and the mother, who jumped into the water, are alive after a heroic rescue by civilians, police said. 

Patricia Shurig, 23, of North South Carolina Avenue, was observed tossing the baby into the water, said Sgt. Monica McMenamin, of the Atlantic City Police Department. Then Shurig jumped in, McMenamin said.

McMenamin said both were being treated at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Campus. Shurig will be charged with second-degree aggravated assault and taken to the Atlantic County jail on $100,000 bail, McMenamin said.

Dung Tran, who lives outside the city, said he saw a woman raise a baby toward the sky, lower it, walk toward the water and jump in with the child.

The incident occurred near the end of Pacific Avenue in the city’s Inlet section. McMenamin said a fisherman gave CPR to the unresponsive infant.

The fisherman, Tom Bell, a retired Atlantic City firefighter, told The Press of Atlantic City: “I did two mouth-breaths, turned her over, patted her on the back."

"She spit up a lot of water,” he said. Then, “I just ran down the jetty and gave it to the EMS people,” Bell said. 

Bell said he did not see how the baby entered the water.

Luis Ortiz, breathless, shivering and wrapped in a pink towel, said he jumped into the water and helped get the woman on land.

“She was 100 yards out, drowning,” said Ortiz, who came to the beach Sunday with a fishing buddy.

Ortiz said he told the woman: "I'm gonna go in for you. But you can't panic, and don't try to grab me."

Seth Perkins, of Galloway Township, also aided the rescue, police said. 

The woman "was completely unresponsive,” said Perkins, who was at the beach with his family to look for beach glass. “She was a limp noodle,” he said.

Perkins said he did not see how the baby and woman entered the water.

McMenamin said Sunday had a “great outcome to a nearly deadly incident. Thank goodness for the bravery of those men to get involved.”

Staff Writer Lynda Cohen contributed to this story.

Contact Reuben Kramer:

609-272-7239

Worked as a reporter for various weekly newspapers in Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties before joining The Press many moons (and editors) ago as a business copy editor. Passionate about journalism, averse to serial commas.