🌊 The man was found off St. Clair Avenue in Spring Lake Saturday afternoon

🌊 He was pronounced dead at Jersey Shore University Hospital

🌊 Lifeguards are not regularly on duty until Memorial Day


SPRING LAKE — A man who drowned Saturday afternoon in the chilly ocean serves as a tragic reminder that lifeguards are not yet on duty at most Jersey Shore beaches.

Spring Lake police said the Belleville was spotted having difficulty in the water off St. Clair Avenue just after 2 p.m. sending nearby officers into the water. They found a 23-year-old Belleville man floating face down in the surf.

Officers from several towns responded plus off-duty lifeguards to get the man out of the water and perform life-saving measures, according to police.

The man was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. His identity was not disclosed pending notification of family, according to police.

ALSO READ: Two NJ middle schools in mourning after deaths of students

Rip current danger
Rip current danger (National Weather Service)

No lifeguards on duty yet in Spring Lake

If the weather turns summer-like before Memorial Day towns will usually have extra police patrols near beaches to watch out for those taking their first swim of the season. Saturday it was cloudy and cold with drizzle.

"Lifeguards are not on duty for several more weeks in Spring Lake. Please do not swim in the ocean until the water is guarded," Spring Lake police wrote on their Facebook page. Rip currents and dangerous conditions are always a possibility and the conditions change daily.

The ocean temperature was a cool 57 degrees up the coast in Sandy Hook which is close to normal, according to NJ 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow.

"In addition, the wind on Saturday was blowing straight out of the east. Such an on-shore breeze usually causes an elevated risk of rough surf and rip currents," Zarrow said, adding that the National Weather Service won't begin issuing rip current warnings until Memorial Day Weekend.

Report a correction 👈 | 👉 Contact our newsroom

LOOK: NJ Shore in potential jeopardy after enormous beachfront reduction

It's an enormous warning for New Jersey when it comes to coastal communities.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

UPDATE 2024: All NJ stores that sell legal cannabis

The number of recreational cannabis dispensaries continues to grow, since the first NJ adult use marijuana sales in April 2022.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

The best supermarkets in New Jersey

These are the highest-rated supermarkets in each of New Jersey's 21 counties. The ratings are based on reviews left by customers on Google. To be included in the top, a supermarket had to have a substantial number of reviews (typically at leas a thousand).

More From 94.3 The Point