By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – The body of an unidentified male was recovered around 6 a.m. Saturday, July 18 from Malibu Beach Wildlife Area, which most pet lovers know as Dog Beach. The beach is located in a section of Egg Harbor Township between Somers Point and Longport at the foot of the Ocean City-Longport bridge.
The body was discovered floating about 150 yards off the beach. A fisherman called 911 and the Lonpgort Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to the scene. Longport firefighters recovered the body shortly before the NJ State Police Marine Division arrived at the scene. The Southern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating and working to establish a positive identification.
Longport Fire Chief Levon “Lefty” Clayton said the NJ State Marine Police would release information. No additional information is available at this time.
The body could be that of Jabed Ikbal, 24, of Clementon, Camden County, who went missing around 7 p.m. Sunday, July 12 after rescuing two family members from the surf at Ocean City’s Great Egg Harbor Inlet. He was last seen near the Ocean City-Longport Bridge.
Ocean City Police Department said Ikbal’s family has been notified about the discovery.
Ocean City Beach Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard searched and 82-mile area for more than 21 hours until the rescue mission ended Monday.
The Coast Guard Cutter Bonito searched alongside a Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew and two 29-foot Response Boat-Small boatcrews from Coast Guard Station Atlantic City and Coast Guard Station Great Egg.
“The decision to suspend search efforts is a challenging one,” said Chief Jacobe Hyre, the command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay. “We ask that everyone try and be cautious of weather conditions before choosing to swim.”
Tropical Storm Fay, which effected the area over the weekend, could have played a role in the rougher surf in the inlet – an area already known for stronger currents, officials said.
Ikbal and his family were swimming Sunday evening at an unguarded beach.
“People need to swim only at guarded beaches and if they see someone in distress call 911,” Ocean City Beach Patrol Chief Mark Jamieson said earlier this week. “Too often, novice swimmers can get into a dangerous situation and everything happens too fast.”
This story is developing. More information will be posted when it becomes available.
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