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Swimmer goes missing trying to rescue family members at the Jersey Shore

The search continues for a 24-year-old man who went missing in the ocean while trying to rescue family members at the Jersey Shore.

News 12 Staff

Jul 13, 2020, 8:16 PM

Updated 1,414 days ago

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The search continues for a 24-year-old man who went missing in the ocean while trying to rescue family members at the Jersey Shore.
Jabed Ikbal, of Clementon, went missing Sunday evening while swimming at the Great Egg Harbor Inlet south of the Longport Ocean City Bridge. Two family members started to struggle and Ikbal went to help them.
“My sister-in-law went in there and her husband also went in. Both of them, they tried to come back, but they couldn’t make it, so they separated. Holding hands and they separated,” says family member Mohammad Alam.
The ocean off the New Jersey coast was rough this weekend because of the remnants from Tropical Storm Fay. There were rip current warnings.
“It’s very, very tough to swim against it. You could be a very experienced swimmer, a very experienced ocean swimmer and you would not be able to beat the pull of a tidal current in an inlet,” says Ocean City Beach Patrol Chief Mark Jameson.
Crews started searching for Ikbal Sunday night after he went missing, but eventually postponed the search until Monday morning. The Ocean City Beach Patrol is now referring to the situation as a recovery mission. The Coast Guard and local authorities are also involved in the search.
“The Coast Guard helicopter made a lot of circles and he actually went up and over the bridge and came down close to the beach here. And then you had a diver walking along the beach with a mask on. He went about 10-15 feet out and he went to a different spot and he had a spotter out here and then you saw the Coast Guard raft go up in Long Beach nice and slow and there’s a lot of people looking,” says witness Bill Lott.
Jameson says that swimming at the inlet is prohibited. Signs are posted at the entrances. He says that anyone who wants to swim should only do so at beaches with lifeguards during designated hours.


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