The ocean doesn't discriminate, it will take anyone, any
place, any time," says Atlantic City Fire Chief, Dennis Brooks.
And around 7 p.m. on Saturday, the ocean's overwhelming
conditions in Atlantic City took two lives.
21-year old Samuel Jackson of Lowell Ma., and his girlfriend
21–year old Thewino Caesar of Upper Darby Pa., were swimming in a large group
near a rock jetty and an outfall pipe.
"When you have an object stationary in the ocean like
that as the tides and currents wash in and around it, creates large holes. It
gets very dangerous," explains Chief Brooks.
After rescuing three people, lifeguards and officials
attempted to resuscitate the couple after pulling them from the ocean.
"We responded and the beach patrol already had two
people out of the water on the beach performing CPR," recalls Chief Brooks.
What originally began
as a trip to the beach quickly escalated into a tragedy, all of which the
victims families witnessed. Family members also followed the couple to the
hospital where they were later pronounced dead.
Despite knowing that the first drowning of the summer season
happened on the beach near Martin Luther King Blvd., beach goers are still
going into the water and the Atlantic City Beach Patrol is taking extra
"We can't even go past our waste line without them
telling us to come down," says Franco Taorimina from Cherry Hill, NJ.
"I might go stick my feet in but I definitely would go
in without a lifeguard here," says Katie DeLuca, a first time beachgoer to
"The lifeguards were here they got people out and they
did the best job they could and it's been an emotional weekend for the Atlantic
City Beach Patrol as Chief Rod Aluise says he has not seen a drowning of this
nature in more than thirty years.
"This year it's been really active and you never really
predict what the ocean going to do," says Chief Brooks.
officials say what you can do is be vigilant.
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