A father died after he tried to save his son from drowning at New Jersey Avenue Beach in the early morning on July 29, according to multiple reports.
Police said that the 59-year-old man thought that his 11-year-old son was drowning in the water when he rushed into strong currents to save him. Though the boy was able to eventually safely make it back to shore, the 59-year-old father ended up being swept up and taken by the current, according to CBS Philadelphia.
NJ.com reported that the 59-year-old man was from Reading, Pennsylvania, according to Atlantic City police Sgt. Kevin Fair. He was not identified in the reports. The incident happened around 9:30 a.m. before lifeguards were on watch at the beach.
A retired police officer, Jim Glorioso Jr., who witnessed the father struggling in the current grabbed a boogie board and rushed into the water in order to try to save the struggling 59-year-old, attempting to bring the drowning man back to shore, according to police, CBS Philadelphia reported. Glorioso managed to spot the man’s body floating face-down in the water.
“The adrenaline got to me and I was just thinking about trying to find him. I saw him floating and I said to myself, ‘Please let that be a log or something,'” Glorioso said, according to CBS Philadelphia. “It was very traumatic to see that it was the back of him.”
By the time Glorioso got to the 59-year-old father, the beach patrol chief of Atlantic City, Steve Downey, and firefighters had arrived at the beach around 9:32 a.m. and the two men were helped back to shore, according to NJ.com. The beach chief was off-duty at the time but was in a nearby tent at the time of the incident. CBS Philadelphia reported that the beach patrol members rushed over to the scene as soon as they realized what was going on.
Authorities tried to administer CPR to the unconscious man and he was rushed to the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center after but the father did not make it and died later, CBS Philadelphia reported.
CBS Philadelphia reported that the 11-year-old was also taken to the hospital to make sure that he did not sustain any injuries.
Incident in North Carolina
A father of seven has been hailed a hero after he died while trying to save his children from drowning at a North Carolina beach.
Johnny Lee Vann, 35, jumped into the water at Wrightsville Beach in Durham after seeing four of his children struggling in rough waters on July 14. During the attempted rescue, he got into trouble and was pulled out of the water but emergency personnel were unable to resuscitate him, Star News reported.
Describing the sequence of events, Johnny’s wife Dawn L Vann told WECT that her husband immediately jumped into the ocean when he saw their children in trouble.
“He never hesitated,” she told the CBS affiliate. “He threw everything down–phone, keys, and ran out there.”
Dawn said that after Johnny got to two of their children, he began to feel out of breath, and when people on the beach tried to help him, he told them to save the children first.
“They could’ve easily saved him. He said, ‘Forget about me. Get my kids.’ He didn’t care about nothing else,” Dawn said.
Dawn described her husband as a “loving father” and a “pillar of jovial spirit,” and that he “heroically gave his life to rescue four of his children who were drowning” in a GoFundMe campaign page aimed at raising money to cover funeral costs and other expenses.
The family of nine had recently moved to North Carolina and were “excited for the start of a new chapter,” Dawn wrote on GoFundMe.
The campaign raised more than $5,000 of its $15,000 goal in its first day.
The family has asked for direct donations to the funeral home and plans to bury Johnny in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. He is survived by his wife, their seven children, three brothers, one sister, and his father.
NTD Staff Writer Venus Upadhayaya contributed to this article.