Heat advisory issued for parts of New Jersey through Wednesday.

Fourth swimmer dies following holiday weekend at Jersey Shore

Police say they attempted to save 43-year-old Mark Costin from the water at Strathmore Beach on Labor Day, but he died at a hospital.

News 12 Staff

Sep 7, 2023, 11:16 AM

Updated 312 days ago


A fourth swimmer has died following a tragic holiday weekend at the Jersey Shore.
The latest death occurred in Cape May County, according to authorities. Police say they attempted to save 43-year-old Mark Costin from the water at Strathmore Beach on Labor Day, but he died at a hospital.
While there is a low risk of rip currents on Thursday, residents should not let their guard down and go in the ocean at an unprotected beach.
Emergency crews on Wednesday morning had to race to the water at Seaside Park for reports of swimmers in distress. They were able to get out safely.
Just hours earlier, News 12 was at the scene when the body of 31-year-old Howell resident Wilmer Chavez Cedillo was pulled from the surf. He drowned on Sunday evening minutes after lifeguards went off duty.
With the heat wave stretching into another day, swimming may be allowed at some beaches with staffed lifeguards. However, Seaside Heights assistant fire chief Tim Farrell says the break may be short lived.
“With next week, we've got this incoming hurricane. We are going to get pre-swell. It's going to be very dangerous. The sun will be out before the storm gets here and after. That's where we're going to have a lot of issues,” he said.
There are no guards in Seaside Park, but two beaches in the Heights are staffed.
News 12’s New Jersey’s Jim Murdoch was also in Seaside Park to speak to "Sand, Sea, and Rescue" author Gregory Andrus about his mission to prevent more drowning incidents.
Andrus and another man found themselves jumping into the water of Island Beach State Park on Sunday to save a man an hour after lifeguards went home.
“We were able to rescue him. He was not responsive in the water. He was moments away from going under, and I was very thankful because when I was writing that book, I was able to make that rescue,” he said.
Although Andrus isn’t a lifeguard, he features dozens of them in his book. After helping rescue the man on Sunday, he also says he feels like he relates to the emotions experienced by first responders.
He hopes to work with state Assemblyman Sean Kean in moving a water education bill forward in Trenton.
“It's going to be a curriculum to help people learn in schools about the safety of oceans, pools, lakes and so forth,” Andrus said.
Kean calls the recent drownings heartbreaking but says there has been no progress on the bill because assembly leadership has not posted it for vote. Kean says he will continue to push for the legislation and classroom education on water safety.

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