July 8, 2021
SEA GIRT, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Just prior to the start of the 4th of July, Sea Girt’s Police Department received a 9-1-1 call for a surfer pulled from the waters off of Baltimore Blvd at 8:59am on Sunday, July 4th. Chief Lifeguard and Director of Beachfront Operations, Tim Harmon heard the call for service go out during the morning roll call and assignment briefing. Harmon and Lifeguards Emma Hecht and Brianna Murphy were first on scene along with Lt. John O’Connor and Patrolman First Class William Joule of the Sea Girt Police Department to a call of CPR in progress. Bystanders walking the beach that morning observed the surfer face down in the water and quickly pulled the 58 year old Brick Township man ashore. Sea Girt’s Lifeguards quickly made an assessment of the situation and continued CPR. After performing multiple rounds of CPR for eight minutes the Lifeguards regained a pulse and the victim was transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center by Brielle Volunteer First Aid. Tim Harmon said, “Our training and preparedness proved its worth today as all the cogs of the wheel for situations like this just clicked. Many thanks to the good Samaritans for their initial help in removing the individual from the water and initial assessment. I am very proud of our Lifeguards and our mutual aid EMS plan with neighboring Manasquan Mobile Rescue and how they all responded today. They all worked effectively and tirelessly to bring this man back to life.”
Fast forward 24 hours, déjà vu seemed to become a reality. The call for service rang out again at 8:43am Monday, July 5th, for a medical episode at the same location on Baltimore Blvd. Beach. Once again, Sea Girt’s Police and Lifeguards responded to a report of a 53 year old Edison Township man who had collapsed on the beach while walking. Lt. O’Connor and PFC Joule arrived and recognized the man was unconscious and not breathing. PFC Joule began CPR and awaited the arrival of Lifeguards, Chief Lifeguard Tim Harmon, Lifeguard Sgt. Will Sodano, Brianna Murphy and Lifeguard EMT Emma Hecht. After fifteen minutes of CPR the Lifeguards were able to regain a pulse and assist in the transport of the 53 year old to Jersey Shore Medical Center by Manasquan Volunteer First Aid. Police Chief Justin Macko said, “It is great to see that a collaborative effort between citizens, police, lifeguards, EMS and paramedics providing immediate life saving measures saved two lives over the 4th of July weekend.”
The Sea Girt Beach Patrol is a United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) certified agency, having received certification in 1997 and consistently train in the area of oceanfront rescue.
Borough Administrator Jim Gant said, “When I heard of the efforts of all involved I was incredibly proud to know that our Borough and our beaches are protected by some of the most highly trained public safety professionals around, their devotion to their profession is second to none, and it’s just in them to serve. Lt. John O’Connor, Chief Lifeguard Tim Harmon, Beach Manager Jim Freda, LG Lt. Matt Harmon, PFC William Joule, LG Sgt. Ed Krausser, LG Sgt. Will Sodano, LG EMT Zack Milko, LG EMT Ed Oser, LG EMT Emma Hecht, LG Brianna Murphy, LG Tyler Goldsmith and LG Kristin Ditomasso all deserve to be recognized for their life saving efforts.”
It is important to note the mutual aid response by the Manasquan Mobile Rescue Team, Hackensack Meridian Advanced Life Support Unit, Brielle Volunteer Rescue Squad and Manasquan Volunteer Rescue Squad. Councilwoman Melissa Giegerich, Chairwoman of the Beachfront Management Committee said, “We are extremely grateful for our lifeguards and police. They saved two lives in two days which is incredible. Their training and dedication is unsurpassed.” The Borough of Sea Girt extends wishes of recovery to both families.