VENTNOR – The Board of Commissioners recently recognized five members of the Ventnor Beach Patrol along with firefighters, EMTs and police officers who saved the lives of three people during an ocean rescue Saturday, May 30.
According to Commissioner of Public Safety Tim Kriebel, it was about 4:30 p.m. when two young females alerted lifeguards at the Suffolk Avenue stand that there was a victim in the ocean at Amherst Avenue, an unguarded beach about three-tenths of a mile away.
A 16-year-old male from Woodstown was caught in a riptide in rough surf and large waves. Two other men entered the ocean to help him and were unable to make it back to the beach.
Lifeguard Vinnie Mahoney used his radio to alert Beach Patrol Headquarters and Lifeguard Charley Buckley was dispatched to the location with a rescue can, while lifeguards Padaric Milligan and Mahoney rowed out on a surf boat, navigating the rough waves. Lt. Meghan Holland responded to the scene on a jet ski and Lt. Patrick Finnerty responded to the scene on a quad. Buckley swam out to the victims about 60 yards out and kept them afloat until assistance arrived. Mahoney and Milligan arrived in the surf boat a few minutes later and helped to stabilize the victims until Holland arrived on the jet ski.
Buckley secured the victims on the sled of the jet ski and Holland drove them back to the beach, where Finnerty assisted in bringing the teenager out of the water. Members of the Ventnor City Fire Department Emergency Medical Unit provided medical care on the scene and transported the teen to Atlantic City Medical Center City Division where he was treated and released. The other victims were unharmed.
Beach Patrol Chief Stan Bergman offered a word of advice to ocean bathers.
“The biggest take away from that rescue is how incredibly important it is to swim in front of a lifeguard stand, regardless of the town or ocean condition,” Bergman said. “This rescue took place at an unguarded beach on the north end of town, over a quarter-mile away from the next guarded beach, and if not for the quick thinking of two young ladies who alerted our guards by running down beach and the fast response time and efficiency of training and skills on not just our lifeguards’ part but also VCPD and VCFD, this could have ended very tragically.”
Guarded beaches starting July 4 weekend are located at Vassar Squar, Austin, Frankfort, Suffolk, Dorset, Sacramento, Surrey, New Haven, Buffalo, Lafayette and Washington avenues.
Lifeguards are on duty in all three Downbeach communities from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Recognized were Beach Patrol members Lts. Meghan Holland and Patrick Finnerty, Lifeguards Vinnie Mahoney, Charlie Buckley and Padaric Milligan. Firefighters Deputy Chief Brady Middlesworth, Capt. Kayle Smith and Firefighters Fred Nahas, Mike Tripician, Eric Koob and Anthony Ventura. Also, Police Officers Lt. Louis Kabo and Officers Ryan Szaniszlo, Stephanie Lamaine and Minchael Newell and Class II Officer Alec Fendrick.
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