Video: NJ first responders, good Samaritans rescue kids clinging to drainage pipe in ocean

An off-duty Atlantic City firefighter was among the rescuers who aided the children struggling in choppy waters

Jeff Goldman

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — At least seven children were rescued from the choppy ocean water off Atlantic City this week in two separate incidents by a combination of Good Samaritans, police officers, a firefighter and off-duty lifeguards, authorities said.

The most recent rescue unfolded Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. when three siblings from Philadelphia — an 11-year-old girl, a 9-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy — were in the ocean and began to struggle, police said.

A man who also happened to be on the Virginia Avenue beach, Stephen Moore of Clark Summit, Pennsylvania, went in to help, but police said he and the three children got stuck on an outfall pipe as the quartet got pounded by the surf.

Two police officers — Ramir Hayes and Brian Victoria-Garcia — arrived, heard Moore calling for help and raced into the water, police said. Victoria-Garcia remained on the pipe to assist Moore while Hayes hoisted the 11-year-old onto his back and brought her to shore. Hayes then returned for the 9-year-old and carried her to safety.

Meanwhile, Atlantic City Beach Patrol Chief Steve Downey, lifeguard Brian Cain and Atlantic City firefighter B.J. Hamilton were off-duty doing maintenance work at a nearby lifeguard stand when they hurried to the beach. Police said they joined Officer Scott Crawford and the four helped rescue the 8-year-old boy and Moore, the Good Samaritan, from the pipe.

The three children, three officers and Moore were treated at a local hospital for cuts and scrapes suffered while on clinging to the pipe, Atlantic City police Lt. Kevin Fair said.

The children were at the beach with their mother, Fair said.

Three days earlier, Dijon Brooks and two other Good Samaritans rushed into the ocean to pull at least four struggling children from the ocean off Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard at about 5 p.m., according to police. The children were out of the water already when police arrived.

Fair said police received conflicting reports from witnesses about how many kids were in the ocean — somewhere between four and seven.

One girl was taken to the the hospital to be checked, police said. That group of children was not accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Lifeguards will begin patrolling beaches May 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Police remind beachgoers not to swim when the beach patrol is not on duty.

The National Weather Service offers rip current safety tips on this page.


©2021 Advance Local Media LLC


**NEWS ALERT** Several Children Rescued from Ocean in Separate Incidents For Immediate Release: May 20, 2021 (Video Attached) The Atlantic City Police Department wishes to remind all beachgoers that it is unsafe to swim when lifeguards from the Atlantic City Beach Patrol are not on duty. Dangerous rip currents can be powerful and can affect even the most experienced swimmer. First responders and good Samaritans have rescued several children from the ocean this week. On May 15, 2021 at 5:00 pm, Tourism District Unit officers responded to the Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard beach for reports of several young juveniles in the ocean in distress. As officers arrived, all of the children had been rescued from the water. A good Samaritan, Dijon Brooks, entered the ocean and rescued a four-year-old female. The girl was transported to the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Division, for evaluation. The other children were evaluated on scene. Two other men also entered the ocean to rescue the children but were not identified. On May 18 at 11:30 am, Tourism District Unit officers responded to the Virginia Avenue beach for a report of three juveniles in the water. A good Samaritan, Stephen Moore, of Clark Summit, PA, went in the water to assist the three siblings, two girls, 11 and 9, and one boy, 8, of Philadelphia, PA. Officers Ramir Hayes and Brian Victoria-Garcia arrived to Moore calling for help. He and the children were stuck on an outfall pipe as the waves continued to crash in. Officers Hayes and Victoria-Garcia immediately rushed in the water to assist. The officers could see that the children and Moore had been injured from the pipe. Officer Victoria-Garcia stayed on the pipe to assist Moore while Officer Hayes grabbed the 11-year-old and put her in on his back carrying her to the shore. Officer Hayes returned for the 9-year-old and carried her to safety. Chief Steve Downey of the Atlantic City Beach Patrol, Lifeguard Brian Cain, and Firefighter BJ Hamilton of the Atlantic City Fire Department were off-duty doing maintenance work at a nearby Lifeguard stand when they responded to the beach. They, along with Officer Scott Crawford, assisted in rescuing the 8-year-old boy and Moore from the pipe. The three children, three officers, and Moore were all transported to the Medical Center to be evaluated for cuts and lacerations sustained from the waves crashing into them while on the pipe. The Atlantic City Beach Patrol will begin patrolling beaches on Saturday, May 29 between the hours of 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. As a reminder, if you cannot see the lifeguard, the lifeguard cannot see you. "I am very proud of the courage and heroics displayed by the first responders and good samaritans", Interim Officer in Charge James Sarkos. "They did not hesitate when called upon to rescue these children. Their swift and decisive actions helped divert a tragedy." Atlantic City PBA Local #24 Atlantic City Gov Atlantic City Professional Firefighters IAFF L198, Njfmba Local 8

Posted by Atlantic City Police Department on Thursday, May 20, 2021


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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