SEASIDE HEIGHTS - Authorities say a man swimming off the Seaside Heights coast with friends died after a strong rip current pulled him underwater.

The 27-year-old victim, whose name was not released, was in waist-deep water when the incident occurred shortly after 3 p.m. yesterday.

There was no lifeguard on duty at the time, so the man's friends called police after a failed attempt to help the swimmer. Officers and fire department divers later found the man, who was still breathing, but he died a short time later at a nearby hospital.