August 30, 2021
BERKLEY TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Around 4:35 p.m. thunderstorm moving though the area approximately 4 miles to the north of Berkley Township in the Lavallette area generated a lighting bolt that hit the beach in the area of 21st Avenue. This area of Berkley Township is also known as South Seaside Park. The lighting bolt hit a Berkley Township lifeguard who was later pronounced dead and the bolt also injured at least seven more people. Rescue efforts were made and a helicopter was called, other victims of the lighting strike were transported to Community Medical Center, RWJ Barnabas Health in Toms River. The victims were transported by multiple EMS agencies operating at the scene.
Governor Phil Murphy released a statement this evening: “Our hearts are with the family and friends of the young lifeguard killed by today’s horrific lightning strike on the beach in Berkeley Township, and we pray for a full recovery for those injured. I’ve spoken to Mayor Carmen Amato and offered the full support and assistance of our administration during this difficult time.”
This is the second fatal lifeguard accident at the Jersey Shore this year only 10 days ago on August 20, 2021 a 16 year old lifeguard in Cape May died from injuries from a lifeboat accident.
The last lighting death in NJ was on June 9 when 70 year old golfer was killed at Burlington Country Club in Westampton, NJ. 2021 Lightning Fatalities by State