A lightning detection system was up and running at the beaches in one Shore town in time for the Fourth of July. It comes nearly a year after the death of a lifeguard during a quick-moving storm on another Ocean County beach.

Brick had the system installed on Monday and its first alert was that same day, Brick Mayor John Ducey said to New Jersey 101.5.

It detects lighting up to 20 miles away by the flash and the electrical currency wave that lightning puts off, according to Brick Township Director of Recreation Dan Santaniello.

part of the new lightning detection system in Brick (Brick Township)
part of the new lightning detection system in Brick (Brick Township)
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The horns and strobe lights go off when lightning is 5 miles away, giving those on the beach time to seek shelter.

An all-clear horn will sound when no lightning has been detected within 20 miles for 30 minutes.

Last August, lightning unexpectedly struck in South Seaside Park in Berkeley, killing 19-year-old lifeguard Keith Pinto and leaving several others hurt.

Lifeguard Keith Pinto was killed by lightning in August 2021 (Berkley Township)
Lifeguard Keith Pinto was killed by lightning in August 2021 (Berkley Township)
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Meanwhile, a 12:30 p.m. ceremony was planned for Friday afternoon to remember Keith Pinto at the 22nd Ave White Sands Beach in South Seaside Park.

“Keith died in the line of duty, with dignity and honor, watching over his beach. This ceremony will ensure he will never be forgotten,” Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato said in announcing the event on Facebook.

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at erin.vogt@townsquaremedia.com

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