Woman and child drown off popular New Jersey beach

By Calvin Palmer

A day at the beach at a popular New Jersey resort turned into tragedy yesterday when a woman and a child drowned.

Coast Guard crews and police responded to a 911 call reporting three people in difficulty swimming of a beach just south of Hereford Inlet, North Wildwood, after the lifeguards went off duty for the day.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Crystal Kneen said that crews recovered a deceased child, another child who was responsive, and 90 minutes later the woman — identified as their mother — who was unresponsive.

The second child and the woman were taken to Cape Regional Medical Center, in Middle Township, where the woman was pronounced dead. The child’s condition has not been disclosed.

The names of the victims have not been released.

Vacationers said the rip currents were strong on this section of beach.

Nancy DeMara, of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, a former lifeguard, said the waves were big enough to lift her off her feet in waist-deep water.

“You could feel the undertow pulling you,” DeMara said. “I’m a good swimmer, and I could only stay out there 20 minutes before I got tired.”

[Based on reports by the Philadelphia Inquirer and Press of Atlantic City.]

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