TOMS RIVER — A late summer swim claimed the life of a Middletown man Wednesday afternoon, the third person to drown in the past week at an unguarded Jersey Shore beach.

Matthew Mauro, 46, became distressed in the ocean near Fielder Avenue in the Ortley Beach section of Toms River around 1:55 p.m., according to Toms River police spokeswoman Jillian Messina. Seaside Heights lifeguards responded on jet skis along with Toms River police and got him out of the water and administered CPR. Mauro was brought to Community Medical Center in Toms River where he was pronounced dead.

The was a low risk of rip currents on Wednesday but that does not mean "no risk," according to NJ 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow.

"The surf can be especially dangerous with no lifeguards on duty as the response time is longer," Zarrow said.

Ortley Beach sign
Ortley Beach sign (Township of Toms River)

Sunny skies bring swimmers to the shore

The weekend forecast looks to be sunny all weekend with temperatures around 80 which will bring visitors to the beach. Lifeguards will be on duty at some Jersey Shore beaches including Ortley Beach. Even though lifeguards go off duty for the season after Labor Day the beach patrol usually works one last weekend.

"It will be more of a roving patrol. They're not going to be sitting on the stands. It's more like they're on quads, they'll be on foot patrolling the beaches for Ortley," borough spokeswoman Stacy Proebstle said.

Proebstle said the bathrooms are open daily in Ortley Beach.

Lifeguards will also be on duty at beaches in Ocean City and Seaside Heights. The Asbury Park beaches are closed for the See.Hear.Now Festival Saturday and Sunday.

Ocean City Beach Patrol tower
Ocean City Beach Patrol tower (Chris Coleman, Townsquare Media NJ)

More rough surf coming

The surf could be churned up again soon as Zarrow is keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Fiona.

"It is about 2,000 miles southeast of New Jersey at this point. Way out there. But even if it steers out to sea, we could experience Fiona-related swell and surf at some point next week," Zarrow said.

Wednesday's drowning is the third within the past seven days on the Jersey Shore.

A man drowned Saturday afternoon at an unguarded beach in the Loveladies section of Long Beach Island. His body was recovered south of the Loveladies public beach off Windrift Lane, according to the Coast Guard.

A Thornhurst, Pennsylvania man drowned Thursday off the 12th Street Beach in Ocean City after struggling in the surf. His 21-year-old son unsuccessfully tried to rescue him.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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