SEASIDE HEIGHTS - A man is accused of assaulting a lifeguard after being rescued in Seaside Heights.

Police say Ivan Rivera, 20, was drunk when he and another man were caught in a rip current in the ocean Sunday night.

Two lifeguards swam out about 60 yards and rescued the two men.

That's when Rivera, who apparently didn't think he was in trouble, attacked one of the guards, according to Beach Manager Jay Boyd.

"As they got closer to the shoreline," says Boyd, "there was a confrontation, starting to throw elbows."

Rivera punched the lifeguard in the jaw. He's now charged with simple assault, disorderly persons and underage drinking.

"They could tell he was intoxicated," Boyd says. "They had smelled a heavy odor of alcohol. They tried to get him under control and during the struggle another lifeguard or two were struck."

Two full-time officers who patrol the beach to combat drinking and rowdy behavior were close enough to step in.

Since Memorial Day weekend, Seaside Heights lifeguards have rescued approximately 35 people.