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Lake Hopatcong man drowns off beach in Belmar

BELMAR BOROUGH, NJ (Monmouth County) – Police have released the name of a northern New Jersey man who drowned Monday afternoon while swimming in the ocean in Belmar.

Fernando Perez, 24, of Lake Hopatcong, was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital after rescue crews removed him from the water near the jetty on 8th Avenue around 1:20 p.m., according to NJ Advance Media.

On June 13, at around 12:29 p.m. police received a report of swimmers in distress off the 8th Avenue beach jetty area. When patrols arrived on scene, multiple unaffiliated bystanders were attempting to make the rescue, however their attempts were unsuccessful, police said.

Multiple Belmar Lifeguards and Water Rescue members then entered the water and were able to rescue a group of swimmers in destress. One of the swimmers was then transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for additional treatment, police said.

The remaining rescued swimmers were brought back to the beach safely. After speaking with these swimmers, police discovered there may be an unaccounted male swimmer, who was in his 20’s, still in the ocean, police said.

Additional emergency personnel arrived to expand the search of the last known location of this male swimmer, police said.

Then at around 1:22 p.m., lifeguards located a Perez in the ocean and immediately placed him in an ambulance which was already on location. He was then transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center where he was later pronounced as dead, police said.

“A full investigation into the nature of the incident is ongoing,” police said.

The Belmar Police Department, Belmar Lifeguards, Belmar Water Rescue Team Belmar EMS, Neptune Answer Team, Neptune Drone Unit and Marine Unit, Manasquan Fire Department Marine Unit, Sea Girt Lifeguards, Monmouth County Fire Marshal Office, New Jersey State Police and U.S. Coast Guard all assisted in this investigation.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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